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HMRC launches e-Markets Disclosure Facility

HMRC launches e-Markets Disclosure Facility

Accountants will be aware that HMRC has launched a number of campaigns in which they target specific sectors over recent months.

Its latest campaign is aimed at people who trade over the Internet but don’t declare their activities on their tax return. They now have the opportunity to tell the Revenue about the income they have received from online sales and pay any tax due.

Called the e-Markets Disclosure Facility, this time limited scheme allows online traders to settle their outstanding tax liabilities in return for lower than usual penalties. Those who ignore the opportunity could face penalties of as much as 100% of the tax owed if HMRC has to seek them out.

The campaign is targeting people who are using the Internet to buy and sell goods as a business. If you occasionally sell something on eBay, you will not normally be expected to pay tax on the money you receive and therefore you do not need to make a disclosure.

However, online traders have until the 14th of September to come clean and tell HMRC about their activities and arrange to pay the tax they owe in full, including interest and penalty charges. If a full disclosure is made prior to the deadline, the maximum penalty in the majority of cases will be 10% of the tax owed.

Any traders who are suspected of not owning up will be investigated and the Revenue has hired additional investigators to pursue them. In addition to a possible 100% penalty, guilty parties may also be subject to a criminal investigation.

Online traders who need advice on complying with the disclosure opportunity may want to ask the help of a contractor accountant.

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