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REVENUE GO ONLINE

It appears the Revenue has discovered the Internet in a big way.

A few weeks ago the taxmen confirmed they were using Facebook to discover anomalies in claims for single-parent allowances and now, at the other end of the wealth scale, it is using Google Earth and StreetView to uncover undeclared wealth.

According to The Sunday Independent, the Revenue is using the online tools to look for evidence of elaborate home extensions, swimming pools or “other assets that could indicate wealth above the levels indicated by a person’s tax returns”.

The Revenue is under serious pressure to maximise every cent: income tax has fallen from €47.3bn in 2007 to less than €30bn forecast for this year.

The Revenue is emulating its counterparts elsewhere in using new technology. Apparently, tax collectors in Greece have been using satellite images to target swimming pools in the back gardens of people who were claiming welfare.

Now might be a good time to deflate those kiddies’ paddling pools!

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