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To tax or not to tax - a guide to trading online

6th February 2007

A new internet-based guide, accessible via the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website for people who trade online is being launched this week. It outlines the rules for people who trade online for a profit, as opposed to others who are just clearing low
value items from the attic.

The online trading guide can be found at:

Online traders are considered to be self-employed if they:
* sell goods they bought with the intention of re-selling them;
* make items themselves and sell them, intending to make a profit;
* sell or buy goods on behalf of others for financial gain (on commission); and
* provide a service and receive payment in cash or in kind.

If the answer is yes to any of these, they may need to pay Income Tax, National Insurance Contributions and fill out a Self-Assessment return. They may also need to register for VAT. E-traders who are starting a new business need to let HMRC know within three months of starting trading. HMRC has made it easy to register over the phone via the Self-Employed helpline: 0845 915 4515.

If people are selling the odd item such as unwanted presents or possessions, and are not buying goods to trade for profit, they are considered to be a non-e-trader and do not have to pay Income Tax or National Insurance.

HMRC's Director of Risk & Intelligence, Stuart Hartlib said: "In the new guidance, there are examples to help you work out if you have to pay tax when you sell items online. You can also access information related to online trading about issues such as Capital
Gains Tax and VAT.

"This site is designed to make registering and paying tax easier, so you can work out whether you are self-employed and need to file a return."


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HM Revenue & Customs - Business Support Team - Free Learning Events
Are you newly Self Employed or thinking of becoming Self Employed? Do you have a Self Employed tax return to complete? Are you a New Employer? Do you have an Employers Annual Return to complete? Do you want to know about the changes to the Construction Industry Scheme? If you can answer "YES" to any of the above questions & would like to learn more, you may be interested in attending one of HM Revenue & Customs free learning events.   The following events will take place in Thurso; 13th March 2007 AM/PM Paying Your Employees 14th March 2007 AM Becoming Self Employed PM Self Assessment for the Self Employed 15th March 2007 AM Employer's Annual Returns PM New Construction Industry Scheme To book a place in one of our sessions, please telephone 01355 275 207.