New powers granted to HMRC will be used to make sure that traders taking payment by credit or debit card have accounted for all taxes they are due to pay. HMRC will be able to access information from UK ‘merchant acquirers’ – the companies that process all payments made by credit and debit cards – to check on the number and value of credit card transactions made by specific traders over the past four years. No personal data about individual card owners or their card numbers will be obtained, but according to HMRC, this crackdown could reduce data payment fraud by more than £50 million per year. HMRC will be able to identify fraud and tax evasion by cross-referencing the information obtained from merchant acquirers with the information it already holds.

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 legislation allows HMRC to obtain data on card payments to all UK businesses for the previous four years. The first requests for the data will be sent to merchant acquirers this week and from next year this will be an annual request.

Does your company process Debit and Credit Card payments? Are you worried that all your taxes are accounted for, Ti Payroll and Accounting can help give us a call on 01229 813388