HMRC have announced that for the first time they now have access to information on all credit and debit card payments to UK businesses. HMRC intend to use this information to aid them in a new crackdown on tax evasion.
Under new powers introduced from 1 September, HMRC can now access information from ‘merchant acquirers’ which are the companies that process card payment transactions. HMRC will use the information to determine the amount and value of transactions completed by a specific trader.
HMRC do not have access to personal data identifying the card owners or card numbers but this data will be used to ensure that traders have correctly accounted for all taxes due.
HMRC estimate that this information could reduce fraud by over £50 million a year.
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said:
‘Tax evasion and the hidden economy cost the taxpayer £9 billion a year. While the majority of traders are honest, they may find themselves undercut by the minority who seek to lower prices by cheating the tax system.’
‘The Government has given HMRC nearly £1 billion to tackle fraud and evasion, and these new powers give HMRC an extra tool to ensure a level playing field between businesses, and also reducing opportunities for those who try and cheat the system.’
Internet link: News