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New anti-evasion powers target card payments

05 September 2013
Issue: 4419 / Categories: News , Connect , evasion , FA 2013 , Admin , Budget/Finance Act , Investigations

FA 2013 gives HMRC acccess to merchant acquirers’ data

HMRC have been granted powers under FA 2013, s 228 to allow officials access to information from the UK companies that process card payment transactions – firms known as merchant acquirers – to learn the number and value of transactions completed by a trader.

The Revenue intends to use the access to clampdown on evasion and fraud by checking whether or not traders have accounted correctly for all taxes due. No card numbers or personal data identifying the card owners will be obtained.

The new legislation permits the taxman to obtain data on card payments to all UK businesses for the past four years. Requests for details are currently being sent to merchant acquirers, in what is the first of an annual move planned by HMRC.

The department means to enter the information it receives into its Connect computer system to make cross-references and compares the data with what the tax authority already holds.

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