HMRC can now access credit card data

10th December 2013

With effect from 1 September 2013 new powers allow HMRC to access information from the UK’s credit card merchants on all credit and debit card payments to UK businesses. These powers allow HMRC to ascertain the number and value of transactions completed by a specific business, and can obtain records going back up to 4 years.

The first requests for the data are currently been sent and from next year HMRC will request this information annually.

The new powers don’t entitle HMRC to access personal customer data by identifying the card owners or card numbers. The data they obtain will only be used to ensure that businesses have correctly accounted for all taxes due. HMRC will be using its data-mining software, called Connect, to cross-reference and compare the data it currently holds in order to identify tax fraud or evasion. The new powers are expected to reduce fraud by over £50 million per year.

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