Sneaky tax officials watch property shows such as Grand Designs and Homes Under The Hammer to catch out developers filing dodgy tax returns

A source said inspectors have been building cases by watching programmes such as Grand Designs and Homes Under The Hammer.

They can compare building and renovation projects with tax returns sent in by featured couples.

The source said: “If the project costs are dramatically above what we expect from the returns, files are prepared.

“It’s been going on for years. We make an average of one new case a month.

“As a bonus we are paid to watch TV for an hour or so each week.”

Grand Designs, with host Kevin Mc­Cloud, and its magazine is top of their target list.

Sarah Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare is also viewed.

HMRC said: “We use a wide range of information to help us demolish dangerous tax fraud structures.”

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