Britons with holiday homes abroad are set to be the subject of a new Government investigation designed to clamp down on tax evasion.
The 200-strong unit put together within HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will use 'data mining' technology to identify Brits who own property or land overseas - and risk assessment tools will then highlight where people appear either not to be able to afford it, or are not declaring the right amount of income or gains from it.
This HMRC unit is focused on people who pay the top 50% rate of income tax.
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said: 'The Government is committed to tackling tax evasion and avoidance across all areas of the economy.
'That is why we allocated HMRC £917 million to reduce the tax gap over the next four years in the last Spending Review. This new team is part of that investment.'
The unit will then turn its attention to UK-based commodity traders, followed by British residents with offshore accounts.
France is still the most popular country in the world for British people buying a second home abroad, according to a recent survey by homeaway.co.uk for The Daily Telegraph Property section.
The US came second with Florida being the most popular place to buy, followed by Portugal, where the euro crisis hasn't discouraged enthusiasm and golf properties are popular.
Italy was the fourth most popular place to set up a home abroad, followed by the Caribbean, which is popular with well-heeled British buyers.
See the top ten places for Brits to buy a holiday home here.
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