EMA response on Extension of data-gathering powers

EMA response to HMRC on Extension of data-gathering powers

Read about HMRC’s consultation here.

The EMA has responded to HMRC’s consultation on draft legislation intended to tackle the ‘hidden economy’ of tax avoidance by extending their powers to gather bulk data on transactions by customers of electronic PSPs and business intermediaries. This would give HMRC the legal power to require electronic PSPs (ePSPs) and business intermediaries to report bulk transaction data on their customers on a regular (annual, quarterly or potentially monthly) basis.

The EMA has two main concerns in relation to the draft legislation. Firstly, whilst the intention is only to capture income received in the course of business, the current legal drafting would not preclude HMRC from requesting bulk data related to certain consumer accounts as well as business accounts. Secondly, there is no intention of collecting equivalent data from other PSPs, such as banks. We believe that not only would this have a negative impact on consumer trust in relation to ePSP accounts by raising data privacy concerns, it would place ePSPs at a disadvantage to other PSPs such as banks, who would not be required to provide equivalent information.

On that basis, the EMA’s response proposes amendments to the legislation in several areas:
1. A narrowing of the defintion of electronic PSP
2. A narrowing of the types of payment transactions that can be captured
3. A narrowing of the type of payment recipient whose transaction data can be captured
4. A clarification that merchant acquirers should be excluded, as they are already covered under existing powers.

Read the EMA response here.