There has been some speculation on Tamebay over the past few days about whether eBay shares your trading information with the UK tax authority, HMRC. It’s some time since eBay has said anything definitive about this, so we thought we’d ask to find out the current situation. eBay gave us this statement:
“eBay is committed to providing a safe and fair marketplace for all buyers and sellers. We continue to work hard to ensure that businesses that trade on the platform are aware of their tax obligations. Additionally, data privacy remains important to us and information will only be released to Government agencies should there be evidence of wrong doing.”
So, reading between the lines, and having a bit of insider knowledge of eBay, I’d decipher this to mean “We do. But only when we have to.”
Certainly, it would be an administrative nightmare to send HMRC all trading details as a matter if course and eBay would strongly resist doing that but when provided with evidence of evasion, it would seem prudent that they provide information on a case by case basis. Needless to say, eBay will be in contact with HMRC on a fairly regular basis.
It really doesn’t matter a jot, what information eBay provides to HMRC. It is such an open marketplace anyway, that it would be reletaively simple to make a fairly accurate estimate of a seller’s annual sales with the information that is freely available on on the site.