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Revenue to access all credit and debit card payments made to businesses

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has gained new powers allowing it to access information on all credit and debit card payments made to UK businesses, with the aim of cracking down on tax evasion.

According to HMRC, the information will be used to ensure that traders account for all taxes that are due, and that the system is fair for all businesses.

Under the new legislation, which came into effect on 1 September, HMRC can obtain data on card payments made to all UK businesses during the previous four years. HMRC will begin requesting data from merchant acquirers, who process card transactions, this week, and annually thereafter.

The data will then be cross-referenced with information already held by the tax authority.

The measure is expected to reduce fraud by more than £50m a year.

David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said, ‘The Government has given HMRC nearly £1bn 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’.