HMRC have released data on their Tax Investigations Campaigns showing revenue from January 2015 to March 2017. As you can see from the increase in the chart below, the income achieved from these targeted areas has been significant.

Campaign Launched 31/1/2015 (£) 31/3/2017 (£) Increase (£) Closure date
Offshore Disclosure Facility 2007 512,190,000 512,455,397 265,397 Nov 07
Offshore New Disclosure Facility 2009 156,923,070 167,759,651 10,836,581 Mar 10
Tax Health Plan 2010 70,961,034 95,661,578 24,700,544 Jun 10
Tax Catch-up Plan 2011 2,968,808 3,785,832 817,024 Mar-12
E Marketplaces 2012 9,379,361 27,175,038 17,795,677 Sep-12
My Tax Return Catch-up 2013 33,137,621 39,795,869 6,658,248 Oct-13
VAT Outstanding Returns 2013 38,696,945 46,719,118 8,022,173 Feb-13
Property Sales 2013 8,245,782 22,869,794 14,624,012 Sep-13
Health Wellbeing Tax Plan 2013 936,315 3,031,057 2,094,742 Apr-14
Solicitors Tax Campaign 2014 0 1,337,482 1,337,482 Jun-15
Campaign Consequential Disclosures N/A 5,536,921 20,455,297 14,918,376 Live

It is expected that HMRC will continue to target their Tax Investigations in this manner, rather than go in for fishing expeditions.

Connect, the computer system used by HMRC which is used for targeting purposes, now has 22 billion lines of data and has created £3 billion in revenues. It is responsible for 95% of their enquiries into Self Assessment Tax Returns.

The data comes from “open source” material, which includes news reports, internet sites, Companies House records, Land Registry reports, blogs and social networking sites where privacy settings have not been set.

HMRC recently used social media to prove that a taxpayer had been lying about not having any money after posting holiday snaps from abroad.

How will they find out? A question often posed by clients in years gone by….. Now, more than ever, HMRC have access to data which means they can – and will – find out.

If you are concerned about your tax position or HMRC have raised an enquiry into your Self Assessment Tax Return, Lambert Chapman can help bring matter up to date and liaise with HMRC on your behalf.

Posted by Lucy Orrow

The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the Author and other professionals may express different views. They may not be the views of Lambert Chapman LLP. The material in the article cannot and should not be considered as exhaustive. Professional advice should be sought in connection with any of the issues contained in the article and the implementation of any actions.

Lambert Chapman Chartered Accountants

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