Online sellers offered chance to settle tax bills

edited 27 March 2012 at 3:55PM in Ebay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales
87 replies 21.6K views
HMRC_representativeHMRC_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
14 Posts
If you’re selling online and haven’t paid all the tax you owe, you’re being offered the chance to come forward under the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) e-marketplaces campaign.

Under this time-limited opportunity, online marketplace traders can pay the tax, duties and interest they owe and benefit from lower penalties available, than those who wait for HMRC to catch up with them.

Who does it apply to?
The e-marketplaces campaign is for people who are trading online through an online marketplace, sometimes referred to as an online auction or online market to sell goods and services as a trade or as a business but aren't paying the right amount of tax and duties.

Those who only sell a few items and who are not traders are unlikely to be liable to pay tax on what they sell, and will not be targeted by this campaign.

How do I know if HMRC considers me to be trading?
You can find more information on whether HMRC considers you to be trading on the HMRC website at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/campaigns/emarket.htm

There is also a video which explains whether buying and selling on an e-marketplace website can be seen as trading

HMRC is also holding a Twitter Q&A on the e-marketplace campaign on 28 March between 3 and 4pm. Follow us @HMRCgovuk (http://twitter.com/#!/hmrcgovuk) and tag your question #emqa.

What does the campaign involve?
Online traders can come forward at any time between 14 March and 14 June to tell HMRC they want to take part. They then have until 14 September to give details of the tax and duties owed and arrange for full payment, including any interest and penalty due. If they make a full disclosure before 14 September, some will pay no penalty at all, with most receiving a penalty of no more than 10 per cent of the tax owed.

After that date HMRC will begin to contact those who have failed to respond. The department has recruited additional investigators and will pursue those who have failed to declare their earnings and pay up. Penalties of up to 100 per cent of the tax owed or even a criminal investigation could follow.

How do people take part in the campaign if they think they may need to make a disclosure?



To take part:
  • People must register with HMRC to "notify" that they plan to make a voluntary tax disclosure by 14 June
  • Once they have done that, they have until 14 September to tell HMRC about tax due and make arrangements to pay any tax interest and penalties owed. This is called "making a disclosure".
You can do you this by:
Your feedback
We’re keen to have your questions and feedback on the campaign. We will read responses posted in this thread, however we cannot promise to reply to every post.

Kam
HMRC Press Office
Follow us on twitter @HMRCgovuk

Official Company Representative
I am the official representative of HMRC. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to [email protected] This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
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Replies

  • soolinsoolin Forumite, Board Guide
    68.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
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    Can I please just draw attention to this bit:

    Or, by phoning HMRC on 0845 601 2944. A dedicated team is available to take your call.

    If there really are people taking calls then I would suggest that phoning with any questions might be a good idea. HMRC rep are there still workshops being run for new businesses or has that now ceased? I remember being offered a short day course on basic accounting and what was required free of charge when I first registered.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
  • soolinsoolin Forumite, Board Guide
    68.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
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    Also can I ask whether you are working with any sites to get their assistance with this campaign. There is a thread running currently suggesting that ebay in particular do nothing when unregulated traders are reported to them. (Although I accept this is not just aimed at ebay sellers)
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
  • StaffsSWStaffsSW Forumite
    5.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    Is that the collective sound of "But I'm not really a business" I can hear being muttered across the MSE boards...

    :D
    <--- Nothing to see here - move along --->
  • HMRC_representativeHMRC_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    14 Posts
    Thanks for the interest!

    We’ll be answering questions in a live @HMRCgovuk Twitter Q&A today at 3pm. You can send questions using #emqa.

    We’ll post the relevant answers on here too.
    Follow us on twitter @HMRCgovuk

    Official Company Representative
    I am the official representative of HMRC. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to [email protected] This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
  • soolinsoolin Forumite, Board Guide
    68.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Just bumping in case this is getting missed by people
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
  • StrappedStrapped Forumite
    8.2K Posts
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    Call me cynical, but I really can't see anyone volunteering for this. Not judging by the blatant "oh but I'm not a business" posts on this board day after day.
    They deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth. -- Plato
  • antrobusantrobus Forumite
    17.4K Posts
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    Strapped wrote: »
    Call me cynical, but I really can't see anyone volunteering for this. Not judging by the blatant "oh but I'm not a business" posts on this board day after day.

    HMRC regularly run various campaigns on a similar basis.

    Last year they targetted plumbers - see Plumbers Tax Safe Plan. Apparently 600 people fessed up and settled. HMRC then went after another 500 suspects. The 600 would have got a better deal than the 500.

    That's normally the way these things work. When HMRC announce a campaign it's because they've already got a target list of suspects. The point of the campaign is to get as many as possible to volunteer themselves, so they can concentrate their resources on the others.
  • StrappedStrapped Forumite
    8.2K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    antrobus wrote: »
    HMRC regularly run various campaigns on a similar basis.

    Last year they targetted plumbers - see Plumbers Tax Safe Plan. Apparently 600 people fessed up and settled. HMRC then went after another 500 suspects. The 600 would have got a better deal than the 500.

    That's normally the way these things work. When HMRC announce a campaign it's because they've already got a target list of suspects. The point of the campaign is to get as many as possible to volunteer themselves, so they can concentrate their resources on the others.

    There must be thousands of eBayers who owe tax.
    They deem him their worst enemy who tells them the truth. -- Plato
  • sequencesequence Forumite
    1.9K Posts
    What if you've been trading as a small business undeclared but don't owe tax (below the threshold )?
  • HMRC_representativeHMRC_representative Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    14 Posts
    Thanks to all of those who took part in the Live twitter Q&A on Wednesday. For those who are interested in a transcript, we have created a Storify blog post here.

    Those questions that we didn’t get time to answer on Twitter, we’ll try to answer soon.

    We hope to do another Q&A towards the end of the campaign in June.
    Follow us on twitter @HMRCgovuk

    Official Company Representative
    I am the official representative of HMRC. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to [email protected] This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
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