HMRC launches the ‘Connect’ super-computer in its fight against tax evasion

If you’re a UK taxpayer and have ever been tempted to be a little economical with the truth when submitting your tax return, then Steven Glicher accountants’ advice is think again. HM Revenues & Customs has unleashed its £100 million super-computer, ‘Connect’ to help pinpoint those taxpayers who are being less than honest. Connect will not only pinpoint those taxpayers who have wilfully avoided paying their dues, but will also identify those who have not paid all of the outstanding tax they owe.

So how does this new super-computer work, and how is it able to identify any possible discrepancy? Well, in a nutshell Connect is able to identify and gather information using each taxpayer’s digital footprint; that is all the traces individuals make when they go online. So, rather than relying solely on the integrity of each individual and the data they submit when they file their tax returns; Connect receives information from a variety of government and corporate sources to provide an accurate profile of an individual’s true personal income, including all the income they may have received from investments and savings.

What are the ‘sources’ Connect is gathering information from? Well, apart from government departments and agencies, the super-computer will also harvest information from banks, peer-to-peer lenders and other financial institutions. The Connect system is also able to access Land Registry data to view properties purchased and calculate whether the correct amount of Capital Gains Tax has been paid. It can also discover whether properties have been rented out and, if so, whether that income has been declared to HMRC. In the event that this gathered data differs from the information submitted by the taxpayer, their account will be flagged and will then be subject to further HMRC investigation.

HMRC has already used the new tax-error identification system to warn a number of taxpayers that they may have underpaid. In December, having identified a number of discrepancies, HMRC distributed 10,000 letters to individuals who filed a 2014-15 tax return without a complete declaration of savings interest received. An HM Revenues & Customs spokesperson said: “we have written to customers who appear to have under-declared untaxed interest.”

Speaking about the new connect system, George Bull, Senior tax Partner at RSM Global,  a powerful network of audit, tax and consulting experts, said:

“Connect broadly deals with information spontaneously available in government departments or as part of the digital footprint that people leave when they use the internet.”

“We all leave a massive electronic footprint of where we are, when we are away, what we do and what we spend.”

If you’re self-employed or a small business owner, Steven Glicher Accountants can work with you to accurately calculate your tax liabilities, and we are also able to prepare and submit your tax returns to HMRC. We understand that running a business is never easy, but with the help of our expert accountancy team, Steven Glicher is able to deal with all the time-consuming administration, leaving you free to devote all your valuable time to the business. For more information, contact Steven Glicher accountants on 0161 485 8007 or email info@stevenglicher.co.uk

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