Ebay and Etsy sellers in HMRC crosshairs

Thousands of traders on websites including eBay and Etsy are being targeted by the taxman in a new crackdown on undeclared income.

Some 14,000 sellers are being investigated by HMRC for suspected tax evasion following the disclosure of personal information by the websites to the agency.

Of those, the taxman has already identified at least 1,000 sellers that it believes have under-reported their income.

Since the introduction of new rules last year, HMRC now has the power to retrieve sellers’ trading history direct from the websites they use. In its last crackdown on online selling in 2012, the Revenue clawed back £9 million in unpaid tax.

It is thought that those who list themselves as business sellers are particularly likely to be targeted.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “Where people choose not to set the record straight, we conduct follow-up work. This includes investigations and prosecutions.”

Sign up for our newsletter

Looking for the latest news and features to help you stay ahead? Sign up for our monthly newsletter and get the inside track on the issues that matter to you.

Sign up now