HMRC attack online sales

15 September 2015

With the upcoming rugby world cup, some of those living across the UK will be letting their home out on Airbnb, the online property site, for a very handsome profit. With some houses reportedly being let for thousands a weekend, this is big business.

I am sure some other budding entrepreneurs may also try and use Ebay to cash in on the World Cup with sale of memorabilia or vastly overpriced tickets. All seems like a great idea to cash in on a global event, and why not? We should of course think about the tax consequences of this. Whilst there are some reliefs available, which I won’t put in detail here, HMRC have announced that they are going to target online sales and plan to raise £860m over the next five years from it.

HMRC will have the powers to collect information from sites like Paypal to identify people who are earning an income from online sales and not declaring it.

People who sell their own items or infrequent users should not be affected. It is the people who are likely to be classed as a business that will be the targets. We are seeing HMRC have more and more power to access information. They already have credit and debit card data and now Paypal, I wonder what is next?

For more information about the issues covered in this blog post, including details of the available reliefs, please contact Elliott Buss or your usual UHY adviser at your nearest location. Alternatively, you can complete our online contact form.