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HMRC to track consumers' spending against income

by Michelle Abrego on Dec 03, 2012 at 11:03

HMRC to track consumers' spending against income

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is to hire credit agencies to cross-check the incomes people declare against their spending patterns to identify tax avoidance, according to reports.

The Daily Telegraph reported credit agencies would be able to identify ‘high ‘ and ‘medium’ risks of both illegal and legal tax avoidance, which would be passed on to the HM Revenue and Customs for more detailed investigations.

Around two million people are expected to be probed under the programme, who are likely to be self-employed individuals who have under-declared their income to authorities, said the paper.

It said individuals who have benefited from inheritance or bonuses and people with secret offshore accounts could be caught out by the checks.

7 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Julian Stevens

Dec 03, 2012 at 11:53

Perhaps somebody should be checking what the FSA spends against the incomes of the various constituent elements of the industry it claims to regulate. The ratio might be somewhat shocking to outsiders.

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Jonathan Kirby

Dec 03, 2012 at 14:22

When they have done mine perhaps they could tell me where all my money goes as I am sure I should have more left each year even allowing for the costs of regulation!

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Dec 03, 2012 at 14:47

I know where mine goes Jonathan....FSCS levies !

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Simon Mansell

Dec 03, 2012 at 19:38

Tax avoidance is legal, tax evasion is illegal. It is not legitimate to track anyones legal activities. This is not a police state. As it stands you work half the year for the government before you start to work for yourself!

I suppose the trick is to stop thinking of it as 'our' money, then we wouldn't feel so bad. Still, it's about time the government started to live within its own means, rather than ours.

“No man in this country is under the smallest obligation, moral or other, so to arrange his legal relations to his business or his property as to enable the Inland Revenue to put the largest possible shovel into his stores”.

Source: Lord Clyde in his famous judgment in the case of Ayshire Pullman Motor Services V Inland Revenue Commissioners 1929

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Laetabi via mobile

Dec 03, 2012 at 21:48

Bugger. Has anyone told my wife?

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Simon Mansell

Dec 03, 2012 at 21:57

@Laetabi via mobile

No but Nanny knows ...best!

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Simon Mansell

Dec 03, 2012 at 22:15

@Julian Stevens

Canary Micawber:

"Financial Services Income twenty pounds, annual regulatory expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery, for advisers."

Oxera, the market research firm employed by the FSA to assess the costs and benefits of the RDR, expects the net present value of the compliance costs to the industry to reach £1.7 billion. The FSA estimate in 2008 was £600 million.The FSA’s latest cost benefit analysis you will see that they now estimate the 10 year cost as £3.55bn!

Note the absence of benefits in these figures!

How about a cross-check on the industry incomes against regulatory spending patterns to identify the avoidance of common sense?

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