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Tax if selling online

Source: HM Revenue & Customs | | 26/02/2019

Many people supplement their income by selling services online. This is often described as the 'sharing economy' or the 'peer-to-peer economy' and usually involves renting out something using specialist websites or apps. This could include renting out your house (using websites such as AirBNB) or personal equipment (such as power tools).

You can also raise income from using specialist online marketplaces to find customers to whom you can provide services as a freelancer. The income raised from these kind of ventures is usually (but not always) supplemental to someone’s main income but this is not always the case. However, HMRC is clear that in most cases this is taxable income and Income Tax is payable subject to the usual rules.

There is no Income Tax to pay if you occasionally sell personal possessions online, and there are reliefs from Capital Gains Tax for small gains (usually under £6,000) for selling personal possessions. However, there are separate rules if HMRC deems your activities a fully-fledged business.

Tax tips

There are also two £1,000 tax exemptions for sundry property and trading income. The £1,000 exemptions from tax apply to:

  • Individuals who make up to £1,000 from self-employment, casual services or hiring personal equipment. This is known as the trading allowance.
  • The first £1,000 of miscellaneous income for income from property. For example, from renting a driveway. This is known as the property allowance.

If you are uncertain whether your online selling may be subject to a tax charge, please call for an opinion. Better safe than sorry.



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