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HMRC Merchant Acquirers Data Matching

To take a string from our recent blog about HMRC’s campaigns to catch out small businesses and individuals who don’t declare all their income, let’s focus on merchant acquirers data matching.

What is merchant acquirer data matching?

Legislation of 2013 provided HMRC powers to request data from merchant acquirers. Merchant acquirers are now obliged by law to provide monthly credit and debit card income from UK businesses to HMRC. 

Who are Merchant Acquirers?

Merchant acquirers are financial institutions that process all credit and debit card transactions on behalf of UK businesses. There are eight major merchant acquirer businesses operating in the UK.

How will HMRC use the data?

HMRC matches the data from merchant acquirers against taxpayer records to identify people who fail to report, or deliberately under-report, their business income.

HMRC says the new legislation will:

  • Check businesses are declaring all of their income;
  • Help increase HMRC’s understanding of the behaviours and compliance profile of businesses who receive credit and debit card income;
  • Improve fraud detection.

Who will the legislation effect?

Anyone who doesn’t declare all of their income might be concerned by this. Any business that accepts credit and debit cards and doesn’t declare all income should be very worried about this.

What should you do?

  • Make sure all your records are inscrutible;
  • Declare all your income and use legal means to minimise your taxes and maximise your expenses;
  • Take out tax investigation insurance (both tax deductable and offering real value for money);

DNS offers confidential, expert advice, so if you have any concerns whatsoever about any of your business transactions, in this or any regard, call your account manager at DNS immediately and talk it over.

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