People who sell directly to customers and who haven’t paid all the tax they owe have one week left to take part in an opportunity offered by HMRC to get their tax affairs in order, on the best terms available, reports Harris & Co Chartered Accountants Northampton.
Direct sellers - sometimes called agents, consultants, representatives or distributors - must tell HMRC about the tax due, and make arrangements to pay, before 28 February 2013.
Direct selling involves selling directly to customers and taking “commission” on sales - without the need for a shop. It can entail demonstrating a product in a customer’s home or selling at a party. Some agents sell door to door, and many use catalogues.
Marian Wilson, head of HMRC Campaigns, said:
‘If you are involved in direct selling and have not told HMRC about all of your income, you may not be paying the right amount of tax. The Direct Selling campaign is an opportunity for you to bring your tax affairs up to date.
‘As a direct seller you are generally considered to be self-employed. This means that you are responsible for telling HMRC about what you earn and calculating and paying your own tax.
‘If you owe tax and don"t get in contact, do not assume that HMRC will not catch up with you soon."
After the 28 February deadline, HMRC will begin contacting direct sellers who have not come forward, if HMRC believes they owe tax.
Some £547million has been raised by HMRC from voluntary disclosures, and almost £140 million from follow-up activity, including 20,000 completed investigations. HMRC campaigns launched so far have targeted offshore investments, medical professionals, plumbers, VAT defaulters, coaches and tutors, electricians, online traders and higher rate taxpayers with outstanding tax returns. There are also 13 criminal investigations underway, with five convictions already secured.
Further information on tax for the self-employed direct seller is available from HMRC.