Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, reveals HMRC has subtly altered wording of hundreds of thousands of reminder letters to 'nudge' people into paying up
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury revealed that HMRC has subtly altered the wording of hundreds of thousands of letters sent out to the public to encourage people to pay up.
Speaking at the Liberal Democrat party conference, Mr Alexander said: "We are using psychologists and behavioural economists in HMRC to get the money quickly.
"Tax dodgers beware – we know where you live, we know how much you owe, and now we know how you think. Your behaviour is unacceptable, and we are coming for our money."
HMRC said it conducted "large scale" trials involving 100,000 taxpayers to "pinpoint the exact words and concepts" which make people more likely to pay their taxes.
It found that by highlighting the degree to which others are paying their taxes, known as the social norm, people are more likely to pay up.
The change in wording has so far led to an estimated £210 million worth of additional tax revenues each year.