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eBay Australia to hand sales data to tax man

By Chris Dawson June 24, 2011 - 9:37 am

If you’re in Australia, and have sold more then $20,000 AUD on eBay, then be prepared for a call from the tax man.

Australian Taxation Office have notified eBay that they intend to issue formal requests for information relating to sales by Australian eBay sellers. The data eBay will supply includes: Contact name; Address; Telephone number; Email and IP address; User ID; Date of birth; Date of registration on eBay; Monthly and annual sales volumes and value; Power seller status and eBay store status.

There will be no getting away from paying the correct tax in Australia so if you’re unsure if your affairs are in order then the best advice is to make sure they are before you get the call. eBay will hand the data over by the 1st of August.

It would be very interesting to see what would happen if the same occurred in the UK. Doubtless there are some smaller sellers who are unsure if they’re a business or a private individual, but would anyone selling more than £20,000 per year be in any doubt? eBay would probably already have insisted you register as a business seller, but that doesn’t ensure that you register with the tax man.

  • 6 years ago

    Splendid news. Roll it out in the UK immediately.

    • john
      6 years ago

      I totally agree. The more the tax man put pressure of the scum that avoid VAT the better. It will see prices go up to the true market level, instead of matey boy selling out of his bedroom, paying no tax and undercutting legit businesses who pay their tax…BRING IT ON :)

  • Gary
    6 years ago

    The UK tax authorities could not cope with the mountain of investigation work that would result. That is why the request from the UK tax man will never happen and why the eBay tax and benefits cheats have nothing to fear.

    The UK tax man could force eBay UK to include a UK national insurance number or tax code number as part of the seller registration details.

    The tax return form could then include a box where the total value of “private” online/car boot sales could be declared.

    This could be tied in with an annual statement that eBay/Amazon submit to the tax authorities.

    The tax man could then, depending on the level of “private” sales declared, decide whether there is a case worth persuing.

    • 6 years ago

      Can’t say I entirely agree Gary, HMRC have already brought in £500 million with voluntary disclosures with a further £100 million in follow ups.

  • nimrod
    6 years ago

    20.000 Aus dollars equates to just over £13.000 sterling. Its time IR did the same with Amazon and Ebay sellers and get them to pay back tax for the years they have been trading and not declaring turnover.

  • northumbrian
    6 years ago

    more bollocks

  • 6 years ago

    No need to get an accountant as the Taxman will do it all for you.

    • Chris
      6 years ago

      It is always safer to get an Accountant especially if the numbers are large. After all the Taxman will not be that sympathetic to you. His intention is to maximise the Tax Take while the Accountanbt should know the Rules and Regulations at least as well as the Taxman and will fight on your behalf to minimise the Tax Take. Obviously if the numbers are small the cost of employing the Accountant could be more than the Tax Liability. Only you will know the likely numbers.

  • Old Hand
    6 years ago

    How about this bunch:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8592262/European-Parliament-refuses-to-release-MEP-secret-internal-audits.html

    It’s not even as if they are spending their own money, it’s ours.

  • northumbrian
    6 years ago

    all this taxman this and taxman that does anyone know of a thread on any ebay board where a seller complains of a tax investigation via ebay or from using ebay

    • northumbrian
      6 years ago

      because if the taxman is targeting and if and when they prosecute
      the boards will light up

    • Chris
      6 years ago

      ebay has no alternative but to supply the Taxman with the information requested. Its probably not a lot of use complaining about ebay if the Taxman then finds that you have been breaking the rules. The fault lies with you and perhaps if you have an Accountant with him(or indeed her). If you break the rules then expect to be caught. As to mistakes. The Taxman knows that the rules are complicated and some do not understand them. This is why they issue numerous leaflets explaining the rules and if you still do not understand there are Offices(less than there used to be) and Phone Lines you can call. I remember many years ago I was the designated VAT Instructor in the Company I worked for. I had to go round the various branches to ensure that they understood the rules. One Office I had to go back to several times because the Office Manageress just could not understand the basis of VAT. I must admit that I always wondered if it was her poor understanding or my poor instructing but eventually we got there. Errors do occur but again check your systems and try to find them and sort them out. If the errors mean that you have been under declaring then you can expect to have to repay what you owe. But the Taxman is not that worried about simple errors(depending on their magnitude) as long as once found and sorted they never occur again. What the Taxman is after is the Crook who is motivated by fiddling the VAT or indeed other taxes. In the long run it is far simpler to be on the straight and narrow because while the Taxman may come and have a look they will leave with a smile on their faces having given you and your accounts a clean bill of health.

    • northumbrian
      6 years ago

      been in business and sucking eggsfor 30 years we know all about tax and vat inspections

      aall this is like announcing they are going to prosecute every one who smokes a spliff at Glastonbury
      or catch every motorist speeding on the M25
      its possible though will never happen

    • Chris
      6 years ago

      Thinking about the M25(the Worlds Largest Car Park) this may not be that difficult. After all when everybody else is either stopped or moving slowly don’t you think that the Speeding Motorist might rather stand out?? Again the VATman has ways of recognising the business that is not abiding by the rules. Indeed the one who is trying to fiddle the rules. Like the speeding motorist on the M25 they tend to stick out.

    • northumbrian
      6 years ago

      every business fiddles[ avoids, works round , ignores, manipulates,] the rules, the bigger the business the bigger the fiddle, thats why accountants are employed

    • Chris
      6 years ago

      There may be a grain of truth in that. But when the Tax Inspectors come round if they find problems they will go back several years and find all the fiddles that you had hoped to keep hidden and then they present you with a substantial Tax Demand plus charges(based upon such as Interest and “Fines” etc). Then because you have been caught once you find that fairly quickly you have another Inspection based upon the fact that you have proved that you are on the fiddle. Again if they find problems(either New ones or perhaps a continuation of what they found previously) that you are presented with another Tax Demand. Again because you have proved to be on the fiddle you get another Tax Inspection fairly quickly until it feels as if you are being continuously Inspected. So much so that it interferes with your main job of running your business. But there again not only were you on the fiddle but you were boasting about the fact and they caught you. Should I say Game, Set and Match to the Taxman.

    • northumbrian
      6 years ago

      utter bollocks

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