HMRC has recently been given new powers allowing them access to banking records containing card transactions. They will be able to interrogate the system to establish the level of income, from credit cards, for a particular business over a given period. They will then be able to compare these figures with those declared on business returns. For example if the sales a business declares on its VAT return are significantly lower than the Credit Card receipts, then HMRC will want to know what happened to the extra cash.
The revenue is expected to start using this system to look for discrepancies in the figures for sales over Christmas and the New Year period. They estimate that these new measures could cut tax and VAT evasion by as much as 50 million a year.