ONLINE TRADERS have been given six months to come clean about tax owed in a new tax campaign by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Under the dislcosure facility people who buy and sells good in online markets such as eBay can pay the tax they owe and benefit from lower penalties available to those who come forward, rather than wait for HMRC to catch up with them.
The campain is part of a wider effort to target tax evasion. Other amnesties, have targeted plumbers, medics and individuals with offshore accounts.
Marian Wilson, head of HMRC Campaigns, said: “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.
“Our aim is to make it easy for online traders to contact us and make a full disclosure of income, thereby putting their affairs in order.”
Online traders have until 14 June to tell HMRC they want to take part, and until 14 September to give details of the tax owed and arrange for payment, including any interest and penalty due.
If they make a full disclosure of what they owe before 14 September, some will receive no penalty at all, with most receiving a penalty of no more than 10% of the tax owed.
After that date, using information pulled together from many different data sources, HMRC will investigate 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% of the tax owed or even a criminal investigation could follow.
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