HMRC have published a response to their consultation on ‘Tackling the hidden economy: Extension of data-gathering powers to Money Service Businesses’.
The original consultation proposed extending HMRC’s existing bulk data gathering powers under Sch 23 Finance Act 2011 to cover Money Service Businesses (MSBs).
In their response HMRC confirm that:
- The powers will be extended to all types of MSBs, as defined in the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 (but excluding banks).
- This will include entities which provide:
- Money transfer services,
- Cheque cashing,
- Currency exchange, and
- Non-cash businesses offering services which could be exploited by those operating in the hidden economy.
- MSBs will not need to collect any new information from customers, and HMRC will not request information on individual transactions, only aggregated data on customers’ total transactions.
- HMRC will discuss what is requested with businesses before a notice is sent.
Draft legislation has been included in Finance Bill 2017.
Our subscriber guide: Finance Act 2016: tax update and 2016/17 rolling planner
HMRC’s consultation documents can be found here