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Internet traders get tax amnesty

15th Mar 2012
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HMRC has offered online traders a three-month amnesty to pay any outstanding tax and take advantage of lower penalties through the e-Markets Disclosure Facility.

Those wishing to take advantage of the disclosure facility should register with HMRC between 14 March and 14 June, and will have up until 14 September to provide further details.

If they make a full disclosure of what they owe before 14 September, some will receive no penalty at all, with most receiving a penalty of no more than 10% of the tax owed.

After that date, HMRC will investigate those who have failed to respond. HMRC has warned that penalties of up to 100% of the tax owed or even a criminal investigation could follow.

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) was quick to respond to the news, but called for “general disclosure facility” to make it as easy as possible for people to put their tax affairs in order.

Gary Ashford, who represents the CIOT on HMRC’s Compliance Reform Forum, said: “However there is a danger that the conveyor belt of disclosure facilities aimed at different groups will make others who wish to get their tax arrears in order wonder whether they should wait for ‘their’ opportunity.

“There is a risk that HMRC are missing the big picture. Rather than continuing to launch different targeted campaigns every few weeks, HMRC should focus their efforts on a big national campaign open to all taxpayers whose tax affairs are not up to date; a one-off disclosure that lasts sufficiently long and is sufficiently attractive to get people to come forward to clean the slate.”

To make a disclosure, complete a notification form online at the HMRC website.

HMRC also recently announced that it had set up a new “cybercrime team” to focus on organised tax fraud more productively.

It follows a rise in fraud and the "increasingly sophisticated" methods cyber criminals are using to target HMRC's repayment systems.


Replies (5)

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By weaversmiths
19th Mar 2012 12:45

Internet Tax Amnesty

This will make a huge difference to bona fide Internet Traders such as ourselves (The China Parade).  We come up against traders who are obviously not declaring as their prices are so far below the RRP of goods that they only make a couple of pounds on each transaction and undercut those whose income depends upon internet sales.  I suspect a huge amount of these people are on benefits so that makes it a double whammy.  It is also a problem for suppliers as it devalues the brand.  In fact a lot of them refuse to supply internet traders because of this very problem.  Think of all that extra Accounts work for Accountants - it must be one of the biggest sections of the Black Economy.


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By carnmores
19th Mar 2012 16:46

i doubt it will make any discernible difference

yet another amnesty etc etc - anyway in my opinion your logic is flawed and i doubt you know exactly what price competitors are paying the suppliers or how much mark up they are making - i doubt they are making a loss and if they are making so little they probably have a tiny profit. your best bet is to audit your business with a mentor and  see how you can improve your profitability leave the shadies to their own devices

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By The Black Knight
20th Mar 2012 11:05

Another amnesty ?

Really ? !! A general last amnesty should be made available to all tax evaders.

Do you really have to wait until a good deal comes up ?

and why do different evaders have better deals ? the original ODF (+ parallel onshore version) required taxpayers to go back 20 years.....Later versions have only had to go back six !

Is the message they are trying to send that if you wait the deals are getting better ?

Surely these traders had the opportunity to come clean once already in the original ODF Onshore version ?

In my opinion a few well publicised prosecutions in each county each year would have a greater deterrent effect.

These amnesties and area and sector investigations seem to apply a scatter gun approach and have very poor results. If prosecutions do follow these seem to be kept a secret.

HMRC have not even found one deliberate defaulter yet and the no tax internet trading community must be more than aware that there are no resources to deal with them so only the large offenders (and I doubt few have evaded enough to warrant a prosecution) have anything to worry about....If they were not concerned about the benefits and tax credits departments then HMRC tax are of no concern whatsoever.

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By carnmores
20th Mar 2012 17:01

its all PR puff

they havent unfortunately got the resouces to deal with small time evaders

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Replying to DMGbus:
By The Black Knight
21st Mar 2012 09:29

Small Time

carnmores wrote:

they haven't unfortunately got the resources to deal with small time evaders


What is small time these days? <£75K ? < £200K both these figures seem to slip under the radar.

Could it even be <£1M as was with missing trader fraud ?

The thing I don't get is that these amounts are easily identifiable, easy scores and the resources would find themselves.

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