From Cumbria to Camden Town, internet auction sites have become a popular way to dispose of antique furniture. However, while the occasional set of Victorian dining chairs or antique chest are unlike to attract the attention of the taxman, regular internet trading from the same address might .
The Inland Revenue are unlikely to be interested if, for example, you decide to sell the antique dining table your Lancashire auntie left in her will online. However, if you’ve made a profit trading furniture – for example, Victorian oak pedestal desks – from a Preston IP address, and failed to notify Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, you could expect a visit quite soon.
In recent years, the internet has become a leading marketplace for people wishing to buy and sell goods privately. Someone in a remote area of Cumbria, with an antique balloon back dining chair to sell, may well find local interested buyers in the minority. Advertised through an online platform, however, the chair would attract the attention of far more people, county-wide, if not worldwide.
However, these casual, one-off traders are not the people the HMRC want to target. Instead, they are angling for the “big fish;” those who have built a successful business out of buying and selling online. One online auction house – which shall remain nameless – has a large number of professional traders. These online businesses often fail to declare their income, and therefore avoid paying income tax.
If you live in Cumbria, and have a Victorian oak partners desk to sell, remember that towns like Preston have antique dealers who give good prices for quality antique furniture. Some even collect from the door.
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