Did PayPal hand over my info to HMRC?
There’s been a lot of interest in how the HMRC managed to acquire the names and addresses of online retailers to write to them during the recent HMRC e-marketplaces campaign. We know that eBay and Amazon didn’t hand over our information, but did PayPal?
There had been some speculation as some sellers had unique information registered on their PayPal account that didn’t appear on eBay, Amazon or other online sources. Also being a finance company it might be reasonable for PayPal to share information with the tax authorities.
That’s not the case though. PayPal have told Tamebay that “PayPal has not provided bulk data to HMRC and nor have HMRC requested us to do so“.
That’s a pretty emphatic answer so it would appear that if HMRC have your PayPal registration information it’s from another source. Either they’ve done a test purchase, one of your customers has handed your details to HMRC, or they’ve gathered it from off-line sources and matched it to your online activities.
It’s reasonable for HMRC to suspect some off-line businesses who also trade online may have omitted to declare their online sales, so it’s no surprise that the tax man may have tied the two together.
Regardless how they obtained online seller’s details the questions that remain are how will they follow up the initial letters and of course have they written to a single seller who’s registered as a private seller on eBay? We’ve yet to find just one private seller who got the letter so if that’s you we’d love to hear from in confidence.