There seems to be some confusion as to whether HMRC are intending to introduce telephone "lie detectors" (voice risk analysis - VRA) as developed/marketed by Crapita.
The Telegraph reported that VRA, which alerts investigators when a caller claiming benefits sounds nervous, could be used to identify those seeking to mislead tax inspectors.
However, The Register reports that an HMRC spokesman insisted that the reports were "nonsense" and that there are no plans to use VRA in the tax system.
Now, of course, "no plans" can always change in the future:)
However, I would note that many people calling HMRC feel stressed and a tad nervous. I would also note this salient point from The Register's article:
"a 2007 study in the International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, which said that VRA vendors' claims amounted to 'charlatanry'.
'Our review of scientific studies will show that these machines perform at chance level,' the authors, two language science professors, wrote.
'No qualified speech scientist believes in this nonsense,' they concluded.
Nemesysco, the Israeli software company behind Capita's product, threatened to sue the journal for libel, so it withdrew the paper. It is still available online."
Tax does have to be taxing.
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