Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

Her Majesty's 'Web Robot' Catches Tax Dodgers

People in the UK are using the Internet to augment their incomes; as many as 70,000 people earn a quarter of their income by trading on eBay alone. But do they report these earnings for taxation?

Enter the 250,000 'web robot' developed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to search out the high-volume traders on sites like eBay. HMRC collected more than 1bn in Value Added Tax (VAT) revenues on e-commerce sales in the 2005-6 tax year. Sales over the internet tripled to 18.1bn between 2002 to 2004 and are expected to hit nearly 60bn a year by April 2010.

It is expected that the 'web robot' - or search agent - will net the government an additional 1m in income this year alone. Sir John Bourn, head of the NAO, said:

"I find it encouraging that HM Revenue and Customs is well positioned to manage the current risks to VAT from electronic commerce. With internet sales set to mushroom in the next few years, the Department faces a challenge to ensure it stays ahead of the game.

"Some businesses are inventive at side-stepping VAT, and the Department must be equally innovative in guaranteeing the Exchequer gets the revenue it is due."

The idea of software intelligent agent that searches through the Internet has long simmered in the imagination of science fiction writers. In his 1965 novel The Age of the Pussyfoot, writer Frederik Pohl wrote about an interests profile which, when completed, would search throughout the myriad of choices available for whatever you wanted.

Read more about it here and here (Google cache only).

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/30/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Virtual Reality: Is Technology Alone Enough To Fully Enter A New World?
'Otherwise what good are the Perky Pat layouts to them?' - Philip K. Dick, 1969.

Amitabh Bachchan Wins Personality Protection
'He led me down the Hall of Portraits to the ego-likeness of the Duke Leto Atreides.' - Frank Herbert, 1964.

Bubloons May Be The Start Of Something Much Bigger
'Spurgle kicked at the letter G... It was a monstrous white thing, ten feet thick, half a city block long...' - Alan Nelson, 1953.

Sleeping Pods In Tokyo Railway Stations
'... she was asleep before the lid sealed fully back in place.' - Larry Niven, 2003.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

ESTHER Tennis Robot V. Fact (1934) And Fiction (1952)
'THE red tennis robot scooted desperately across the court...'

Japan's LignoSat Space Wood Satellite And Dan Simmons' Treeship
'The Consul remembered his first glimpse of the kilometer-long treeship...'

Skyline Robotics Instantiates Heinlein's 'Window Willie' Skyscraper Robot
'Do you know what window washing used to cost by the hour?'

Drone Bombings In Moscow Foreseen 100 Years Ago
'Once the target is confirmed, it uses an IR laser to send a coded signal back to the parent, clearing it to attack.'

I Didn't Know You Can Already Buy Flesh Putty
'I filled your bullet hole with flesh putty and the lattice.'

'A Sign in Space' Gives Practice In Decoding ET Messages
'... it will be easy to form an alphabet which shall enable us to converse with the inhabitants of the moon.'

Melting Permafrost Endangers Infrastructure
'From the tower's huge octagonal base radiate wide silvery strips...'

EELS Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor For Enceladus
'It was about five feet long... a black bullet head and red camera eyes.'

Lazy Lawyer's Trust In ChatGPT Misplaced
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software...'

Paradromics Implant FDA 'Breakthrough Device'
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted...'

Mice, At Least, Can Sober Up Quickly
'Then draw some aldodote-vitamin pills from the medic.'

Is It Time For Lunar Farside Telescopes?
'Mount Ambarzumian Observatory, on Farside.'

Spaceflight Vertigo Solved By NASA Releasing The Kraken
"I threw up in my helmet."

TM-62 Loitering Ground Landmine
Runaway movie comes to life!

Helpful Robots In Science Fiction
'If you douse me again... I'm donating you to a city college.'

Lunar Pogo Stick - Retro Technovelgy From 1968
'Lucky touched the leap knob...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.