HMRC has published a consultation, Cash, tax evasion and the hidden economy: a call for evidence, it is seeking the views of businesses and individuals on the role of cash in the economy.

Recent data indicates that use of non cash methods of payment now exceeds cash payment. Although technological advances are resulting in new money laundering techniques, a recent Europol report suggests that cash remains an important tool, used for example to break digital audit trails

How cash is used affects HMRC compliance operations and in this document it asks:

  1. What does the relative decline in cash usage mean for tax non-compliance in the future?
  2. What evidence is available about the use of cash to conceal transactions within the hidden economy?
  3. To what extent does cash facilitate tax non-compliance?
  4. What evidence is there that the relative trend away from cash to other payment methods will or will not continue?
  5. Considering the rapidly changing payment landscape, what challenges and opportunities does further innovation raise for:
    • 5a: HMRC’s compliance activities?
    • 5b: HMRC’s customers?
  6. What do changes in the use of cash mean for money laundering?

Closing date for comments: 27th January 2016

Condoc: Cash, tax evasion and the hidden economy