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HMRC Direct Selling Campaign

Posted by: edwinsmith on September 27th, 2012

The latest in a long line of opportunities to come forward and voluntarily put your tax affairs right comes into effect on 28 September 2012. HMRC have named this latest opportunity as the Direct Selling Campaign.

This campaign focuses on those who are selling directly to customers such as door to door for example. You may be known as an agent, a consultant, a representative or perhaps a distributor and your selling may involve leaving brochures for later collection, demonstrating products in the home or at a party organised by the homeowner.

Perhaps you only sell to friends and family. Unfortunately, this makes no difference. Tax may still be due on any earnings you generate.

Am I eligible to use this opportunity?

If you started this type of work before 6 April 2011, and have not told HMRC, then you can come forward under the Direct Selling Campaign. To do so, you must complete and submit a disclosure form before 28 February 2013.

If you started after 6 April 2011, then you do not need to use this campaign, however, you must make sure that you have registered with HMRC if appropriate. If you are unsure, then please contact us for help.

When you make a disclosure, you will need to work out your earnings, the tax, interest and any penalty payable. There is an interest calculator on the HMRC website which may help.

Any disclosure you may must be full and complete. If it is later found to be false then HMRC will take action.

What if I do not come forward?

HMRC is using legal powers to obtain information from an extensive range of sources and, after each notification period closes, will use this data to identify those who have failed to come forward. HMRC campaigns use cutting-edge tools such as 'web robot' software to search the internet and find targeted information about specified people and companies which helps identify those who have failed to pay the right amount of tax.

HMRC has the right to pursue a criminal investigation in cases of tax fraud but an important factor in making this decision is whether a person has made a complete and unprompted disclosure of any amounts evaded or improperly reclaimed. While HMRC considers each case on its merits, where a person has made a complete and unprompted disclosure, they would generally not carry out a criminal investigation.

So, if you have income which has not been declared to HMRC, get in touch now before it is too late.

If you have any questions about your tax affairs then we would be pleased to discuss these with you. Arrange an appointment today with one of our advisors.