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==== ==== To get the best tax advice and establish a reasonable amount to pay each and a reosonble time scale to pay back what you owe contact us today ==== ====

In conjunction with their 'Grab for Cash' campaign, HMRC have now turned their attention to businesses/people trading online. Web robots will be just one of the new 'state-of-the-art' technologies that HMRC will be using to search the internet for information about specific businesses and individuals. By matching HMRC's data with that of third parties, the new software will greatly accelerate the process of finding individuals/businesses who are evading tax. Therefore, it would allow them to identify individuals failing to declare that they are trading, and therefore, failing to pay the right amount of tax a lot quicker, and with a lot more accuracy. What do these changes mean for you, the UK small business/taxpayer? This campaign will focus on regular traders on the major e-commerce websites, such as eBay, Auto Trader, E-auctions, Amazon and Gumtree, to name just a few. It is unlikely you will need to declare the sales on your tax return if all you are doing is simply selling unwanted personal belongings. However, you should consider the following points, and if you can answer 'yes' to any of them, we recommend you seek professional advice from your accountant, or us, immediately: - Do you make, and then sell, goods online? - Do you sell goods on behalf of others, for a commission? - Do you sell a service, and get paid for it? - Do you buy goods with a view to sell them online? Even sales to your family and friends, including cash sales, are relevant. If you already have a trade that is VAT registered, and if any of the above apply to you, then VAT could be applicable on your online sales. Mike Wells, HMRC's Director of Risk and Intelligence, said: "We will use the information we gather to pursue people who choose not to use the opportunities we provide for them to put their affairs in order on the best possible terms. It will be more expensive if we come and find people, so I urge them to come forward and disclose voluntarily."

If you do manage to find the tax policies of these e-commerce sites (they are usually very well hidden!), the majority of the time, they completely absolve themselves of any responsibility to the local tax authority. That means that the income declaration is the responsibility of the seller. This means that you can not rely on the site to come to your rescue when dealing with HMRC, and nor can you use ignorance as an excuse. Over the next year, as well as building on their 'Plumbers' Amnesty, HMRC are due to target those who provide tutoring or coaching, and focus on traders who fail to declare their income and unpaid tax.

Ben works for Keepers Accountancy, who are Accountants in Brighton. Click the link to read more posts like this, covering similar topics. For help with topics such as the one this post covers, you can use our FREE Ask an Accountant service.

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==== ==== To get the best tax advice and establish a reasonable amount to pay each and a reosonble time scale to pay back what you owe contact us today ==== ====

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