HMRC Connect Computer System………… a Charter for Snoopers?

HMRC Connect Computer System………… a Charter for Snoopers?

For some time HMRC have been developing a very powerful computer system designed to identify those people who may have paid too little tax.

The system, which has evolved year on year, now draws on information from a myriad of sources to include Companies House, Land Registry, Banks etc. and holds information about salaries and cars purchased, to name just a few personal items.

HMRC’s attention is also turning to social media where they will “observe, monitor, record and retain internet data”.  Whilst this information is available to everyone HMRC will use the details it gleans, in conjunction with the other resources at its disposal, to build up a detailed profile of an individual’s lifestyle and whether their stated means are sufficient to support this.

The plethora of information available will enable HMRC to highlight targets that look suspicious for potential investigation.  This process can be intrusive, expensive and stressful. In addition, if tax is found to be underpaid then the penalties associated can be very painful and in extreme cases, result in prosecution.

It is essential that great care is taken when dealing with HMRC because even a simple mistake on a tax return could start the investigation ball rolling.

It goes without saying that anyone who is concerned that they may not have paid sufficient tax, or made a full disclosure, should seek professional advice immediately.  There is a marked difference in the attitude of HMRC when dealing with information that has been disclosed rather than discovered.

If you wish to discuss this further or have any questions please contact Stephen Williams, stephen.williams@kilsbywilliams.com.