Taxman using consumer data in business tax clampdown

HMRC can now access data on card payment transactions to UK firms to check against the values officially reported.

The powers to request the information were made available to HMRC for the first time last week and means they can now request data from ‘merchant acquirers’ who process the card payments.

This will allow the transactions made by restaurants, cafes, shops, garages, hotels and other businesses to be checked by HMRC against the information that the firm declares on their tax return.

The new powers will be most useful where HMRC suspects a business of under-declaring revenue and customer numbers.  Whereas in the past they would have needed manual surveillance to check number of customers, they will now be able to use reliable third party data to prove how many people paid by card.

The legislation gives HMRC the ability to request data relating to the last four years and the first requests were sent to merchant acquirers last week.

HMRC insist that under data protection no personal information identifying the card owners would be obtained.  Instead they insisted that the data would be used “….to ensure that traders have correctly accounted for all taxes due – levelling the playing field for all businesses.”

The new powers are part of an extensive clampdown on tax dodging which has seen HMRC target groups as diverse as tradesmen and small businesses to large corporations & city workers. 

It also coincides with the second stage of a publicity drive to highlight the crackdown on billboards and radio until the beginning of October.


  • Date posted:
  • Share:

View all articles

Arcus has provided us with excellent service and sound advice regarding all our tax affairs

Mr P from Milton Keynes

extremely professional, thorough and very honest with his advice

Damian, Corby

We have always received great service

Mr W from Corby

© 2019 Arcus Taxation Accountants is the trading name of Arcus Associates Ltd. Registered in England & Wales Company No. 05065405.

privacy / cookies

website cms powered by csb internet

01572 770552