HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the UK tax agency, has invested in technology to exploit information and intelligence in their work to tackle fraud and evasion. Whether pursuing organised criminal attacks or identifying common errors, HMRC uses analytics for risk profiling to select cases for investigation and target resources. Capgemini implemented and runs the IT which underpins this work, and which is at the heart of HMRC’s compliance strategy.
Connect is HMRC’s strategic risking tool that cross-matches one billion internal and third party data items to uncover hidden relationships across organisations, customers and their associated data links, such as bank interest, lifestyle indicators and stated tax liability. It captures information from 28 different data sources, and transforms the data into a standard format for Connect analytical and ‘spider diagram’ visualisation tools. HMRC statisticians produce target profiles and risk and intelligence investigators generate campaigns and cases for investigation. Automated feeds into HMRC’s case management system allocate work to the correct caseworkers, and their feedback further refines intelligence in Connect.
Connect has enabled an increasing number of successful investigations and over £2.6 billion additional yield to-date. It lies behind the multi-disciplinary units to investigate high-risk sectors, and it enables targeted campaigns which incentivise mass voluntary disclosures. Streamlined risk and intelligence operations are delivered by 40% fewer staff. Skilled staff concentrate on tackling aggressive evasion rather than correcting errors, which historically took too much time, and which is now tackled in other ways.
For the first time HMRC can see all the information they have about a taxpayer at the touch of a button. Connect highlights patterns in HMRC’s rich reserves of taxpayer and third party data to find anomalies and commonalities so they can focus skilled resources on businesses, individuals and sectors that pose the highest risk of error, fraud and criminal activity. It produces in minutes what previously took months of research, or was simply not possible to do manually or on a volume basis. HMRC is one of the first organisations to use bulk data analytics and visualisation technology to combat tax evasion in this way.