HMRC has launched a consultation on proposals to extend the powers it has to collect data from “online business intermediaries” and “electronic payment providers”. The powers are designed to assist in tackling the “hidden economy” ie businesses which fail to register for tax. HMRC believes that the hidden economy accounts for around 17% of the so called “tax gap” in the UK.

Under the proposals, legislation will be enacted in order to provide HMRC with access  to electronic payment systems which may be used to conceal business operations. Such information is likely to be held by advertising boards/platforms; App stores; booking agent companies; and payment providers.

The closing date for comments on the proposals is 14 October 2015.

The consultation can be read here.