Online traders warned of tax risksNew handbook helps you avoid the pitfalls
30 April 2007
People who regularly trade on online auction sites have been warned to take care to stay on the right side of the tax authorities.
The Tax Handbook 2007/8, a Which? essential guide published on 14 May, points out that a failure to do so could mean a hefty fine or even imprisonment.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is devoting substantial resources to catching people who are self-employed but don’t declare their earnings.
It is targeting online auction sites such as eBay, car boot sales and domestic services offered via door-drop leafleting.
While tax evasion – not paying tax when you should do so - is illegal, tax avoidance is about legitimately reducing your tax bill and taking advantage of all the tax breaks that are available.
The Tax Handbook 2007/8 includes handy tips to help people do just that.
These include checking that your income tax code is correct, ensuring you get the tax credits you’re entitled to, making the most of tax-free fringe benefits from your employer (such as childcare vouchers and medical check-ups) and passing assets to your spouse.
Tony Levene, author of The Tax Handbook 2007/8, said: ‘Tax affects us all, so whether you’re employed, self-employed, retired, saving or investing, it’s vital to get your tax affairs in order and ensure that you’re paying the right amount – and making the most of the tax breaks that are on offer.
‘Arm yourself with the facts, keep all your financial paperwork in order and if you complete a tax return don’t leave it until the last minute – miss the deadline and you’ll face a £100 fine.’
'Clear and accessible style'
The Tax Handbook 2007/8 is a comprehensive, detailed and up-to-date guide to the UK tax system.
From tax on your income, to tax on your property and other assets, The Tax Handbook 2007/8 makes sense of the jargon and explains the regulations, putting the important concepts into a clear and accessible style.
It can be ordered on 01903 828557 (£10.99, p&p free), via our online bookshop or from bookshops.