Connect for tax

THE TAXMAN’S FANCY new system, Connect, is being used to cross-reference data from plumbing industry watchdog Gas Safe with its own info to force plumbers’ tax affairs out into the open. Connect was flagged up last year for bringing together stamp duty data with CGT duty on house sales. To the layman it would seem strange that HMRC’s systems weren’t “connected” in the first place, but then you know better.

What is clear is that if HMRC can break the habit of a lifetime and get different datasets singing together in harmony, then it might just be able to catch those able to creep through the yawning gaps in HMRC’s knowledge.

The obvious answer is that heavily regulated industries, where form filling is the norm, could provide a rich seam. Professions where cash-in-hand is notorious, such as in building, will no doubt continue to prove elusive.

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