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Direct sellers given tax disclosure opportunity

Direct sellers have just a week left to settle their tax bills as part of an opportunity created by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

People selling directly to customers - and with outstanding tax to pay - can get their tax affairs in order while being given the best terms available by the department.

The technique has been a success in the past, with £547 million raised by HMRC from voluntary disclosures, including 20,000 completed investigations and £140 million in follow-up activity revenues.

This latest offering is targeted at those who sell directly - and earn commission on sales - without having a shop, including agents selling door to door and through the use of catalogues.

A deadline on February 28th is in place for those to come forward, while anyone who misses this will be contacted by HMRC in the coming months if they are believed to owe tax.

Marian Wilson, Head of HMRC Campaigns, explained that people need to be honest with what they are earning to ensure they pay the right amount of tax.

"If you are involved in direct selling and have not told HMRC about all of your income, you may not be paying the right amount of tax. The Direct Selling campaign is an opportunity for you to bring your tax affairs up to date," she explained.

"As a direct seller you are generally considered to be self-employed. This means that you are responsible for telling HMRC about what you earn and calculating and paying your own tax. If you owe tax and don't get in contact, do not assume that HMRC will not catch up with you soon."

Other HMRC voluntary campaigns have also been launched in offshore investments, plumbers, medical professionals, coaches and tutors and electricians, among others.

Furthermore, the department revealed that there are also 13 criminal investigations underway, five convictions already secured, and the potential for more to follow unless people are honest about what they earn.

Posted by Emily Smith

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