The Taxman knows more about you than you think
In recent years the tax man has changed his approach to tax evasion. Their previous tactics were to query increases in individual items of expenditure and challenge differences in figures which had been sent separately to other departments, such as turnover for VAT and wages for PAYE. Now they have the use of a computer system called’ Connect’. It sifts through huge numbers of computer systems and links people and business to their respective tax records (or reveals that there is no tax record). These computer systems include those of trade bodies, hospitals, electoral role, Land Registry, local Government, Banks, employers, Companies, DVLC, shipping & aviation registers, numerous media sites and selling sites such as Auto trader and E-bay. It has more data than the British Library, with over one billion items of information. Their sources of information were extended in September 2013 when they had access to all credit card transactions. This system is said to generate nearly 80% of all enquiry cases, and it will know if you apply for planning permission for an extension, details of your last foreign holiday or your new car. As soon as the computer identifies you and ‘lifts your head above the parapet’, the Taxman will use its powers to obtain additional specific information about you from organisations or people that you deal with, in order to fine tune their case against you. Only then do you receive a letter from the Taxman.
If this is not enough, the Taxman also targets trades or professions, where they consider that evasion is particularly prevalent. These are called ‘task forces’. They then select areas of the Country which they consider to be more guilty than others. For example South Wales has been singled out for more intense investigation into restaurants, the motor industry, retails trade, holiday industry and property income and gains.