Online Sellers to be targeted by HMRC for investigation.
At Tax Affinity Accountants we have always been at the forefront inside knowledge and key advice and support for all of our clients. And we know that every tax year HMRC picks a category of business to focus its investigations on.
We have been successfully guiding and helping those effected by investigations for many years. For the 2014/15 it was Landlords and Property Developers, for 2013/14 it was Electricians and Tutors 2012/13 it was Builders and Decorators.
This tax year 2015/16 we have credible information that it is individuals selling items and services on Autotrader, Gumtree, Ebay, Amazon, E-Auctions, Craigslist, AirBnb and other online platforms that will be investigation for undeclared incomes.
HMRC says it wants to target those that have failed to register for and pay the correct amount of tax. It thinks that this could amount to as much as £5.9 billion of missed tax. And so it is currently starting a consultation on extending their powers even further than before to be to collect data on companies and individuals from other sources.
So far, Ebay has been sympathetic to the request from HMRC and says that it has tried to identify to its sellers their obligations to the tax authorities of the relevant country in which they trade. And have said that they would share information with the tax authorities where there is evidence of wrongdoing. And so it's highly likely other online platforms will be following suit.
HMRC has said it is better that an online seller should come forward and volunteer to put their affairs in order as it will only be a matter of time before they will catch up them. They went on to say that they will not be targeting people selling personal property, but rather those that sell large quantities of similar or categorised items. And they will get the source information directly from the web and the online platform providers.
From our experience investigations can take at least 6 months with some lasting up to 2 years and always cause a lot of stress upon individuals and their families. Especially as the penalties and fines can be up to a further 100% on top the tax due. If you are concerned about how this may affect your business we recommend you contact your local Tax Affinity Office and ask for more detailed help.
By Anni Khan at Tax Affinity Accountants.
Tax Affinity Accountants are experts in Tax and Accountancy. Based in Kingston upon Thames they provide a bespoke service to client’s right across the UK and are considered in the industry to be experts.
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