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HMRC uses tech to fight VAT avoidance

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is to provide many of its inspectors with devices including iPads in an attempt to tackle tax avoidance with greater speed.

The department's chief information officer, Mark Hall, told Computer Weekly that 7,000 mobile devices will be introduced in the coming months to help inspectors on the move.

He revealed that VAT inspectors will be among the first to benefit as they look to ensure all businesses are paying the rates they are supposed to.

"The ultimate number will be about 7,000 - but we don't at the moment know how many of that will be iPads, laptops etc," Mr Hall explained.

"We are doing a piece with HR at the moment about mobile working, and how we can make our VAT inspectors more mobile, for example."

It comes only a month after the department warned 50,000 firms that their tax affairs will be closely scrutinised if they fail to submit their VAT returns on time.

Posted by Thomas Fletcher

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