Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Tax Man Uses Google Earth to Find Tax Cheats

Google Earth 2The Daily Mail:  Now the Taxman Is Spying on Your Home Using Google Earth: Satellite Images Give Clues About Wealth and Lifestyle That May Show You're Not Paying Enough:

Revenue inspectors are using Google maps to spy on homes and trap suspected tax dodgers. Images from Google Earth, which allows users to zoom in on satellite views of properties, give the taxman clues about lifestyles and wealth, such as cars and home improvements. Officials at HM Revenue & Customs will feed the data into a supercomputer to try to decide whether to investigate homeowners already believed to be paying too little tax.

Google Earth is the latest weapon in HMRC’s battle to close a £35billion gap between what it believes individuals and companies owe and the tax that is actually collected. ...

Tax officials also add in extra details from searches on social media sites such as Facebook. Bragging about a brand new car or exotic holiday can flag up a warning – and trigger an inquiry.

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