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Revenue spy on your credit card to see if you are dodging tax

NewsBy Sean Nolan
The Revenue are using advanced techniques to find tax avoiders
The Revenue are using advanced techniques to find tax avoiders

The Revenue Commissioners are now able to examine your spending on credit and debit cards to determine if you are avoiding tax.

According to a report on Independent.ie, the taxman now looks at the spending habits on credit and debit cards to see if an individual is living beyond their stated means.

They get the info from clearing houses which process the payments, and the law to allow them to do so was passed two years ago.

The article says a source in the Revenue has told them they have doubled their resources in this type of analytical work.

The Revenue say not only does the ability to look at transactions allow them to identify potential tax avoiders, it also allows them to spot online traders who may not be registered with them.

Declan Rigney, assistant secretary in the Revenue's planning division said: "We are able to match information up with our records and see firstly, do we know about them, and secondly, have they registered with us and have they declared income and so on."

"After that, we can examine if that cumulative figure for the year matches what they have told us in their income tax or corporation tax returns."

The data is fed into a special software that helps them narrow down the list of potential tax avoiders.

"It is really exciting stuff," said Mr Rigney. "It is very much of using mathematical probability theory to highlight potential cases with an error or where there is fraud."