HMRC’s Card Transaction Programme is a disclosure opportunity for businesses that accept card payments and have not paid the right amount of tax due. The disclosure opportunity has been widened to also allow businesses that accept cash payments to also use the scheme. The campaign offers the opportunity for affected businesses to bring their affairs up to date and in doing so take advantage of the best possible terms.
HMRC cites examples such as a business accepting payments by card that might not have declared all of their income or a business that is trading and has not registered with HMRC and accept cards as one of their payment methods as the type of businesses that might be able to take advantage of this disclosure campaign.
Similarly to other disclosure campaigns there are a number of steps involved in taking part in this disclosure opportunity. The first is to notify HMRC that you want to take part in the Card Transaction Programme. This can be done by using the digital disclosure service. Taxpayers must then make a full disclosure within 90 days from the time a notification acknowledgement is received. This includes making a formal offer and payment of tax dues together with fully co-operating with HMRC throughout the process.
HMRC’s guidance states that penalties for a full disclosure made as part of the campaign will usually be levied at 0%, 10% or 20% depending on the circumstances. There are higher penalties for offshore liabilities. Taxpayers who are contacted by HMRC before making any disclosure will not have the opportunity to use the terms of this campaign. Penalties of up to 100% of the unpaid liabilities, or up to 200% for offshore related income could then be levied along with the risk of criminal prosecution is serious cases.
There is currently no end date for this campaign, however anyone affected should take action to make a disclosure as soon as possible. If this is relevant, we can help you to make a disclosure to HMRC and minimise any penalties due.