We all knew this was coming: eBay Australia has given details of its top sellers to the Australian Taxation Office. The ATO have targetted sellers with turnover of more than AU$50,000, who should be registered for GST (sales tax): up to 1000 sellers are thought to be involved. The information handed over includes details of sales from 2003 to 2006. One of the sellers who is already registered for GST said she welcomed the move: “I have always been straight with my figures and if it is going to stop the ratbags out there who aren’t registered for GST, it’s a good thing.”
If you’ve forgotten to tell your own tax office about your eBay income, don’t think that this is going to be limited to Australia. British, European and American revenue officials all have their eyes on eBay, and it’s only a matter of time before you get caught. So contact them before they contact you.
In the meantime, sellers caught out might find some cold comfort in the fact that eBay themselves are registered as a foreign company in Australia, and are therefore not collecting any GST on their fees. We expect the ATO to change this very shortly.