Taxman to check your spending

  Up to two million people are to have their credit files checked under a crackdown on tax evasion to help the government raise another £10 billion in tax revenues.


Credit reference agencies will cross check details of the income declared on individuals tax returns against their spending patterns to identify ‘high’ and ‘medium’ risks of legal and illegal tax avoidance.

Those identified as high risk by HM Revenue & Customs will then be subjected to further more detailed investigations.

The success of an initial pilot programme carried out by HMRC on 20,000 individuals has led to the scheme being rolled out nationally. 

It is expected that the crackdown will target the self employed who may have under declared their income and also those who may have benefitted from undeclared inheritance or bonuses and those with secret offshore accounts.

The use of third party data such as that supplied by credit reference agencies is being increasingly used by HMRC to clamp down on tax avoidance and has raised concerns over individual privacy.

However, the government is determined to press ahead and has also announced an agreement with Switzerland to give UK authorities access to the details of offshore savings of thousands of British citizens.

Chancellor George Osborne said “While most taxpayers are doing their bit to help us balance the books, it is unacceptable for a minority to avoid paying their fair share”.

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