Information gathering

HMRC select their targets carefully.  Investigations are not undertaken on a whim.  Before HMRC embarks on an investigation, HMRC will gather, collate and cross reference all information and documentation already held by HMRC.  HMRC will then use their CONNECT software.

What is CONNECT software?

As with most businesses, HMRC has gone digital and there is now little reliance on paper documentation in preference to electronic data.  The CONNECT software was developed by BAE Systems Applied Intelligence.  It is for the sole use of HMRC.  It can manage high volumes of data.

The CONNECT software is a leap forward on all previous attempts to process data such as IDEA.  Taxpayers are regularly surprised by both the amount of the data and accuracy of the data.  However, HMRC can make mistakes or misinterpret what they are looking at.

Information sources

HMRC continually receives information and documentation from a variety of sources.   This is another reason why HMRC will gather collate and cross reference all information.  Any documentation is now automatically scanned into the CONNECT software. It can then be sifted, collated and sorted as necessary.

CONNECT software has already been used on the records held separately by HMRC, Companies House, Land Registry, DVLA, DWP, electoral rolls and Local Councils (particularly planning applications). HMRC can also access data directly from the internet such as Rightmove and Zoopla, financial institutions in the UK (banks and credit card companies), eBay and other internet market places.

Don’t forget that information is also obtained from other taxpayers directly either through correspondence, formal Notices or in meetings. This can include other connected parties such as other family members, employers and employees (both past and present).

Help is at hand

If you would like to discuss this matter further, please contact me at paul@pmc.tax or on 07979 313 010.

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