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Reporting Deadline Nears for U.K. Sellers

Merchants are promised lower penalties if they report online earnings by June 14.

Sellers in the U.K. who sold regularly on online marketplaces and did not report the income these sales generated to the government have one more week to report their earnings to get “preferential treatment.”

HM Revenue & Customs reminds sellers of this on its site, noting that merchants who report previously undisclosed income before June 14 will be able to pay lower tax penalties than those who don’t come forward by the deadline. The “preferential” treatment is part of the organization’s E-marketplaces Campaign, which is meant to encourage online sellers to report undisclosed income.

In May, HMRC wrote more than 30,000 people who trade online to tell them it would crack down on online sellers who don’t report their earnings. The firm acknowledges the difficulty some sellers have when considering if they should report online earnings, so it provides guidelines on its site.

“If you occasionally sell a few personal possessions to raise some cash, you’re not trading, and you won’t usually need to pay any tax,” the organization notes. “But if you regularly sell goods or services, you’re almost certainly trading [and should report earnings].”

The site notes that sellers can report their earnings through an e-Markets Campaign Notification form. Sellers can print these and mail them in, or they can submit them online.

If merchants file the forms, they may only have to pay for six years of undisclosed income. They may also tell HMRC how much they should pay, and may pay penalties in installments, the organization notes.

“It’s basically a fresh start,” the site states. “You can stop worrying about what might happen when HMRC find out that you’ve not been telling them about all of your income. It’s a change to start getting things right from now on, whilst knowing exactly how much it’s going to cost to sort out things for earlier years.”

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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