A court order has been given for high volume Canadian eBay sellers sales information to be released to the tax authorities. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of all sellers who qualified as PowerSellers in 2004 and 2005.
The Canada Revenue Agency (equivalent to HMRC in the UK) wants to cross reference the data with that filed on sellers tax returns and verify the income sellers have reported.
Whilst eBay have argued in court that they don’t have the information required as it is held on eBay servers located outside Canada the courts have ruled they are legally obliged to hand over the data.
It will be interesting to see if the US and UK tax authorities follow suit and demand eBay divulge sellers information. So far eBay have defended assisting the US IRS and in the UK only hand over individual sellers records when named records are specifically requested.
Sellers who declare legitimate earnings have nothing to fear, but those that are not paying any taxes due should contact the Inland Revenue before the Revenue contact them.