E-marketplaces: the Latest HMRC Campaign

Each campaign of HMRC is, as you probably expect, a focus on a particular area where people have been avoiding paying their taxes or are unaware that they should. The campaigns are publicised on its website so you can take a look at the areas they've covered in the past and what is coming up, as well as what campaigns are current.

The campaigns give tax payers a window of opportunity to come clean about where they might not have paid enough, and to pay up without incurring serious penalties. Meanwhile they are investigating so they can bring criminal charges against those that don't own up to additional income received in the last six years.

Are you an E-market Trader?

The current campaign is about people who trade on e-marketplaces, such as eBay. Now don't freak out: that doesn't mean everyone who has auctioned or sold anything on-line. It means people who trade on these sites to make regular extra income. So, if you sell your cast-offs or unwanted birthday presents now and then, it doesn't count. But if you regularly go to car boot sales or trawl the adverts in your local newspaper for items you could buy to make a profit, watch out.

The Campaign Stages

If you want to declare extra income, rather than get found out, you have to go through two stages, each with a deadline. Stage 1 is to notify HMRC that you will be doing so. The deadline for this is very soon. This window of opportunity closes at midnight on June 14th, so you need to do it as soon as possible.

After that, you have three months to work out your extra income and the tax due, inform HMRC and pay up. So this deadline is September 14th. If you are unable to pay by then, you may be able to pay by instalments, but this would have to be negotiated.

How to Notify HMRC

The Revenue have an e-markets Disclosure Facility Helpline at 0845 601 2944 which will accept your notification. Or you can do it on-line via a form on the website. If you prefer, you can print out the form and send it in by post.

You don't have to do it yourself. Your accountant can notify for you, or the agent who deals with your tax affairs. Your outsourced bookkeepers could help with the notification and sorting out the extra income to be declared and the extra tax to be paid.
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