eBay businesses warned over tax

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Online traders using eBay are being warned after a man was jailed for two years for failing to declare income from online sales.

John Woolfenden was convicted at Bolton Crown Court on two counts of cheating the public revenue and one count of concealing or transferring criminal property.

He evaded paying £299,752 in tax while trading on eBay over six years, the court heard.

Andrew Mould, tax partner at Baker Tilly said: “Using online auction platforms such as eBay or accommodation sites such as Airbnb can be a great way of earning some extra money, but if they are being used for carrying on a trade, it is the responsibility of private traders to disclose their earnings to HMRC and pay the correct amount of tax.

“HMRC has become significantly more proactive in pursuing evaders.

“Last year alone, it brought 915 prosecutions for tax crimes resulting in 716 convictions – more than double the number four years ago.

“The outcome of this case highlights the dangers of failing to declare the correct income from online sales.”