Random Musing

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Government saying one thing and doing another – increasing the cost of paying HMRC by credit card.

Just before Christmas a huge amount of press space was dedicated to the Government’s announcement that “excessive credit card charges” would be made illegal by the end of 2012 :

Excessive card surcharges will be banned, says Treasury

“Excessive” fees for using a debit or credit card to buy items such as travel or cinema tickets will be banned by the end of 2012, under government plans.

The move comes amid complaints that airlines, booking agencies and even councils were imposing excessive charges for using a card.

However, firms will be allowed to levy a “small charge” to cover payment processing costs.

This followed from an Office of Fair Trading report (opens pdf) back in June last year after a complaint raised by Which over the excessive charges levied by airlines during the booking process. The OFT report found that average card processing fees were 1.38% of the total sum charged to the card account with a range from 0.88% to 1.8%.

The reason I give those figures, and especially the average figure there is because of this Statutory Instrument which I came across today whilst having a nosey to see what sneaky things are being put through by rubber stamp :

Statutory Instruments2012

No. 689

Revenue And Customs The Taxes, etc. (Fees for Payment by Telephone) Regulations 2012

These Regulations, which replace the Taxes, etc. (Fees for Payment by Telephone) Regulations 2009 (S.I. 2009/3073), provide that a fee must be paid in respect of payments by credit card made over the telephone equal to 1.5% of the payment with effect from 2nd April 2012 (it was 1.25% of the payment under the 2009 Regulations).

So there you have it, a 20% increase in fees charged by the Revenue and Customs for processing a card payment and a new level which takes the fee charged into the above average category of the OFT report despite the size of our Government which should get them some very preferential banking terms.

Nothing like being gouged by inflated charges for the privilege of paying your taxes is there?

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