Taxes

British Tax Collectors Increasingly Snooping on Taxpayers

Data-digging for dollars ... err ... pounds

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The taxman is increasingly snooping on the private lives of taxpayers, with officials accessing thousands of pieces of personal information over the past year, it emerged today.

Figures show Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs officials made almost 14,400 authorised views of "communications data" on taxpayers during tax evasion investigations.

This compares to more than 11,500 such views in 2010, which equates to a rise of almost 25 per cent, according to statistics released under Freedom of Information laws.

Using the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, HMRC can access details on what websites are viewed by taxpayers, where a mobile phone call was made or received and the date and time of emails, texts and phone calls.