As I have noted several times before on this site, HMRC are keen to identify people who are trading (goods and services) on the internet but not declaring their profits.
As such it should come as no surprise to learn that HMRC intend to up their game wrt collecting data on who is trading but not declaring that they are trading. HMRC are of the view that the hidden economy of internet trading could be worth £5.9BN in uncollected tax each year.
HMRC has launched a consultation on extending its powers to collect extra data from firms and individuals.
"Data can be particularly powerful when it is collected from third parties who facilitate trade, either between businesses, or between businesses and consumers.The extended powers would affect businesses acting as intermediaries or providing electronic payment services.
This is because they can provide information in bulk about the activity of large numbers of traders, and because third party data can be used as an independent check against the data that taxpayers themselves report to HMRC."
"It is important that the data - gathering powers are proportionate. This means that the administrative burden placed on the intermediary business when preparing and providing the data must be commensurate with the benefit from using the information obtained. HMRC expect that in the scenarios described in this consultation document the administrative burden will be relatively small. HMRC would provide guidance and give support to ease the process."In theory whatever happens in the future, wrt new payment methods will be covered by the legislation:
"HMRC propose s that the legislation is “future - proofed” so similar data can be requested from new business models as they emerge."Theoretically HMRC will not target individuals who sell personal possessions, only businesses that fail to pay tax owed.
Those who were tax compliant "should see little or no impact".
The consultation runs until 14 October.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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