HM Revenue and Customs is closing in on tax evasion. And so far they’ve have been able to extract a whopping £2bn from tax-dodgers through a new ‘super-computer’ costing an astounding £45 million.
Thankfully the investment is looking worthwhile and the new system is already bearing fruit, with almost £2 billion already recovered thanks to the new ‘Connect’ system and £22 billion predicted for the 2014-15 tax year. Now that’s what I call a bit more than pocket money!
Vast amounts of ‘Big Data’
Computers are amazing things. This system, created by Mike Hainey, helps inspectors examine an astonishing amount of data – a billion pieces of information – which they use to stop tax evaders in their tracks and grab the cash back. The treasury minister David Gauke loves it, as do ordinary honest taxpayers like you and I, most of whom are totally fed up with big corporations’ and fat cats’ sneaky tax evasion shenanigans.
About HMRC’s Connect system
The system contains more than a billion records including taxpayer stuff, online information and stuff from third parties. It covers data about income, interest on bank accounts, paid and unpaid taxes plus tax data from abroad.
How does it work?
Connect uses intelligent and highly complex analytics to identify previously obscure connections, highlighting true levels of income and spending and revealing people and organisations likely to be evading tax.
Unlike many government computer systems, Connect is widely recognised as an example of excellence. It has even won three coveted awards: the IT outsourcing project of the year, the British Computer Society’s Big Data project of the year and the Civil Service’s Science and Technology award.
What does it mean for you?
Simple. If you’ve been considering tax evasion, forget it. Big Brother really is watching you, and they can see more than ever.