President Bush this morning signed into law the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which contains a provision mandating merchant acquirers to report their retailers' credit and debit card transactions to the Internal Revenue Service. Acquirers will have to submit annual reports listing the name, address, taxpayer identification number, and the gross amount of credit and debit card transactions for each of their merchant customers, according to the new law (CardLine, 7/28). The annual requirement will apply to merchant card transactions made after Dec. 31, 2010. Mandatory reporting of merchant credit and debit card transactions to the IRS could prove time-consuming and costly for acquirers and the independent sales organizations that work with them, according to Paul Martaus, president of the Mountain Home, Ark.-based consulting firm Martaus & Associates Inc. Acquirers and ISOs may have to absorb the costs of collecting and securely storing merchants' information, he says (CardLine, 7/29).

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