Online sellers urged to settle tax bills

People trading on the internet are offered a chance to put their tax affairs right

Businesses trading on e-marketplaces or e-auction websites are being offered a chance to come forward over unpaid taxes, under a new HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) campaign.

The e-Markets Disclosure Facility will give online traders a time-limited opportunity to pay the tax they owe and benefit from lower penalties, rather than wait for HMRC to catch up with them.

Under the opportunity, online traders can come forward at any time between 14 March and 14 June to tell HMRC they want to take part. Notifications of undeclared income can be made online, over the phone or in writing.

Find out how to notify HMRC under the e-Markets Disclosure Facility on the HMRC website.

Traders who come forward by 14 June will then have until 14 September to give details of the tax owed and arrange for full 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 per cent of the tax owed.

After 14 September, taxpayers who have not come forward but are found to have unpaid tax liabilities will face higher penalties, rising to 100 per cent of the tax unpaid or, potentially, criminal prosecution.

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.”

To check if the HMRC is likely to consider you an online marketplace trader, you canĀ view their e-marketplaces video on the YouTube website.