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26 October 2019 Halesworth & Southwold Community News


Financial Focus On.. Connect data gathering


A FEW years ago, an Inspector of Taxes local to East Anglia had a hobby. He would frequent car boot sales and make a note of the car registration numbers. If the same vehicles turned up regularly, he would enquire as to whether those people could be deemed to be trading and from there whether any under- declared ta could be identifi ed. Legend has it that while it may


take him some time to make the connection, he was very good at his hobby.


Like policemen,


it could be argued that an Inspector of Taxes may never be off-duty


Scroll forward to the modern day and HMRC have become one of the largest data collectors in the UK, if not on the planet, thanks to their computer system called “Connect”. “Connect”


is RC’s most effi cient weapon in linking pieces of our electronic lives together. Initially developed over ten years ago, the system has continued to grow and now regularly trawls the records from the DVLA and the Land Registry; auction sites; banks, pension, mortgage companies and credit cards (gaining even anonymised information); Air


BnB, online advertisements for businesses, the list is growing regularly.


By linking


data together, HMRC can develop a picture of how you live, even without accessing social media which is another lucrative source of background information.


Beyond the linking of data, HMRC now undertake regular ifestyle rofi ling”. “Connect”


is used to run


algorithms to determine if there are any oddities in the data that may prompt closer inspection. For example, can you afford to drive the expensive car (registered in your name at DLVA) on a


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income of £25,000 (from your P60)? If you bought it from a cash gift, who gave you the money? Have they paid the correct taxes on it, before the gift was made? Alternatively, is the person living at an address the same person as on the mortgage and the Land Registry? Are you selling a collection of antiques online (potentially a CGT issue), or are you buying them as well (potentially a trade subject to Income Tax)? Where it could take months or years to link data in the past, “Connect” does it virtually instantly and repeatedly as more and more information becomes available. Let’s put things in perspective. If you use a car boot in order to sell off personal items that you no longer have need for, you are not trading and have nothing to fear from HM Revenue & Customs. Income


from sundry odd-jobs may be covered by the £1,000 trading allowance


which is given


automatically (although can be disclaimed should you desire) and need not be declared on your annual Self-Assessment Tax Return (although a white space note is recommended if you fi le one. Sales of personal assets via online auctions do not automatically give rise to accusations of trading from HMRC or requests for Capital ains a een if sold at a profi t (especially as there are both a personal chattel exemption and an annual CGT exemption that may be in play). If, however, you are now running a business that you have not registered with HMRC (and remember that a single transaction could be classed as trading); if you do have rental income (other than just an occasional rental income that could be covered by the £1000 rental income allowance) or have sold a second home without having declared the transaction, you should take steps to regularise your affairs with HMRC.


After all, you


may only need to undertake a declaration exercise and any tax due may be minimal or non-existent. It is far better to tell HMRC about it than for them to have “Connect” start fl agging arious matters for an Inspector’s review as one question will invariably lead to another under an enquiry. “Connect” now shares data with over 60 nations and, by


the end of 2020, HMRC hope to have some form of data sharing agreement with virtually all countries.


This will truly


make “Connect” a swapshop of people’s global fi nancial data. For further information on any of the above points or to discuss your affairs generally, please do not hesitate to contact Robin Beadle at Ensors Chartered Accountants, Saxmundham on 01728-603005.


This article seeks to address


general business and fi nancial issues and due care has been taken in its preparation. Ensors cannot accept responsibility for loss


Specialist advice should always be sought in relation to your particular circumstances.


incurred by any person, company or entity as a result of acting, or failing to act, on any material in this publication.


Bungay High School News


CONGRATULATIONS to our students on another excellent set of GCSE results. We are delighted that 63% of students achieved a Grade 4+ in both English and Maths. In English, 72% of students achieved a Grade 4+ with 73% achieving this in Maths. This achievement is equally impressive across the broad range of curriculum subjects that we offer. Students have worked extremely and been so committed


hard to


their learning. Coupled with the support of their excellent teachers,


support staff and


parents, this has provided an exceptional climate for learning at Bungay High School. We are extremely proud of the progress, which our students make, and the standards that they achieve in the fi e years that they are with us. The Governors and I would like to pass on our congratulations to the students, staff and parents of Bungay High School on the results achieved this year. We are delighted with the excellent results of our Sixth Form students at Bungay High School. The pass rate for Level  qualifi cations is an impressie 98% with 71% of entries at a C grade/ Merit or higher. The percentage of A levels graded


at A* to E is 97% with A*-C at 64%. Furthermore, the pass rate for our Level 3 vocational and technical


courses is fantastic.


All students passed and 88% of grades were awarded at the very highest levels. These are extremely strong results from a dynamic Sixth Form with an inclusive entry policy. We are extremely proud of our students’ achievements and these results refl ect their hard work, commitment and determination. The Governors and I would like to pass on our congratulations to the students, staff and parents of Bungay High Sixth Form on the excellent results achieved this year.


The new academic year has


got off to a fl ying start with a full cohort of Year 7 students looking great in their High School uniforms.


The new House ties


look really smart and there are loads of extracurricular clubs and activities available in all sorts of areas. Students are getting ready to elect the new school council at the end of September ready to serve for the year so there is a real buzz around the school, anticipation and enthusiasm for a great academic year.


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