Online Traders Targeted by HMRC

11 June 2012

People trading on the internet who haven’t paid all the tax they owe have until the 14th of June to take part in an opportunity offered by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to get their tax affairs in order on the best terms available.

The e-Markets Disclosure Facility is aimed at people using online marketplaces to buy and sell goods as a trade or a business and who are not up to date with their taxes. People who sell only a few personal items, however, and who are not traders are unlikely to be liable to pay tax on what they sell, and are not being targeted by this campaign.

Those who are unsure whether their e-marketplace activity could be seen as trading can visit HMRC’s website.

Last month, HMRC wrote to more than 30,000 people trading on the internet to let them know about the e-Markets Disclosure Facility. After the 14 June deadline, HMRC will begin contacting online traders who did not come forward if the department believes they owe tax. Penalties of up to 100 per cent of the tax owed, or even a criminal investigation, could follow.

People who make a full disclosure will be offered a simple and straightforward way to put their tax affairs right and may not be charged a penalty at all, with most receiving a penalty of no more than 10 per cent of the tax they owe.

Campaigns launched so far have targeted offshore investments, medical professionals, plumbers, VAT defaulters, coaches and tutors, and electricians.

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