It's not only businesses that innovate. As well as driving significant legislative change across the tax code, we have also seen a massive investment in how HMRC administers the tax system. Staff numbers may have reduced, but HMRC is compensating by embracing technology. Gone are the days when a local tax inspector would know the local businesses and use paper information, judgment and local knowledge to decide which ones to investigate.
Hugh volumes of data are now available to HMRC - from both domestic sources and other jurisdictions, however the challenge will be identifying and isolating the data that are relevant or insightful. As HMRC's super-computer begins process this data, is there also a risk that the analytics will throw up anomalies and false positives, triggering a new level of investigations where ultimately, there is nothing to be found?
HM Revenue & Customs has spent years and £100m or more on a super-computer designed to identify those who may have paid too little tax. And now – with the deadline for filing 2015-16 tax returns just weeks away – the system is being fully deployed for the first time.