In the latest move by the UK government to stop money slipping through its coffers and to reduce the deficit of borrowing needed to keep the country afloat, a situation that has plagued most of Europe, and the US since the Banks single handedly screwed the World over.
Revenues And Customs Web Robot To Hunt Tax Cheats
HMRC’s new “connect” computer system helped to track down issues with incorrect tax liabilities from 2008-2010 has brought in a little brother to help monitor online tax dodgers. termed “Bots On The Prowl” we look at what this means for the average Joe using the web to earn a little more money.
Reports have been numerous about the poor level of service that the tax office has been producing for the last few years, and this looks like a way to let automation help in some way with the management of a modern countries tax system, now so much is online.
Web robots to scour the web for tax evaders on Ebay, and Gumtree.
In a seemingly open gesture by The Tax arm of Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs HMRC’s Director of Risk and Intelligence Mr Wells said:
“By being open about our areas of interest for the coming year we hope to maximise that exchange of information and ensure we reduce the tax gap and help customers pay what they owe.”
Wells went on to say:
“It will be more expensive if we come and find people, so I urge them to come forward and disclose voluntarily.”
So for sake of argument if you were working in an office doing your 9-5 salaried job five days a week and in your spare time selling a few phones on Ebay or Gumtree, teaching piano lessons privately or putting up wallpaper for cash in hand etc these seem to be the people the HMRC want to find.
If you are not declaring this in your personal self assessment tax form at the end of the year, you would likely be looked into closer if you were found by the new robots that look for cross correlations of names and data that tie up existing anomalies with a persons financial situation.
The kind of people the HMRC are looking into are traders online, and private tutors who offer there services online but can hide behind a vagueness currently.
What about big business and their clever tax avoidance schemes that cost us many more billions a year?
Shall we all forget the HUGE amount of tax avoidance that is flaunted in front of our faces by the high street businesses that claim they need to stay competitive?
Vodafone, HSBC, Tesco, this list goes on and on, but we need them dont we, they provide us with love and goods and services we simply have to purchase…..bollocks.
Question of data privacy?
I just wonder to what level they are going to snoop, if they are actually going to look at bank accounts and email and IP addresses of traders and advertisers, this leaves a lot of privacy questions to be answered.
If however they are simply looking for adverts with blatant information…..John Smiths Piano Lessons – 16 The High Street, Dagenham, Call for best prices, etc.
Then we wonder if this robot would be as easy to avoid as simply never giving too much detail away on the actual advert or in your accounts on Ebay or Gumtree.
Or should “moonlighters” say that we have a subsidiary in Bermuda and that this is why we pay only around 60+% of everything we earn from our main job into the HMRC coffers (VAT, N.I, Duties, Income Tax).
The excuse to give the HMRC:
Due to the Global financial situation, and utilising our strategic subsidiary in the Caribbean, we are seeking to consolidate our precious spare time and resources, making sure we as a company are as competitive as possible in a Global market, with the threat of more redundancies and possible reduced hours and pay freezes, right now, we are trying to make some extra cash in our spare time to support a family and then spend this cash on the high street, thus propping up a failing economy and not paying even more tax for the privilege. So we have decided to put all the tax we should have paid the HRMC into our account in Bermuda for a rainy day.
…its OK, we still shop at Tesco’s while are there though, and buy Tetley tea for our minuscule breaks.
Until things are a little more fair in this country I can not help but fight for the guy on the street trying to make a bit of extra pin money to lead a decent life.
Rant over…best to pay your taxes though!
Ask Al.Editorial Staff