EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

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EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by alltorque »

Just reading Ebays new messages of a request from the ATO and CENTRELINK requesting details of transactions and details of people who have been "selling"on Ebay in BULK....

http://www2.ebay.com/aw/au/201106.shtml#2011-06-24103520

They are going to get.. ALL... their private details for their... DATA BASE....!

Read below cut and paste from their message board....

I wonder how it will "upset" some of the "Private Dealers" with 1000's of sales....

Sales over $20K are being targeted.......

I love the last comment..... :lol:

....Those affected sellers may also wish to consult with their professional legal or tax adviser"...". :shock:

..... NOW... I would suggest.... :lol:


June 2011

***Request for information from ATO and Centrelink***

24 June 2011 | 10:38AM EST


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Centrelink have each advised eBay that they will be issuing formal requests for information relating to sales by Australian eBay members who sold over $20,000 worth of goods on eBay.com.au during the tax year ending June 2011.

The ATO and CentreLink have indicated that they will request the following information in relation to affected sellers:

Contact name
Address
Telephone number
Email and IP address
User ID
Date of birth
Date of registration on eBay
Monthly and annual sales volumes and value
Power seller status
eBay store status

eBay is legally required to comply with these requests for information. In addition, such disclosure is also permitted pursuant to our Privacy Policy.

We confirm that disclosure will be made to the ATO by August 1 2011 and in accordance with Centrelink's required timeframes. eBay may also be required to provide available bank account information.

For further information regarding the ATO or Centrelink, please visit http://www.ato.gov.au or http://www.centrelink.gov.au.,Regards,

The eBay team
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Re: EBAY ..request from ATO etc..

Post by mrboggler »

Well they all were WARNED a few years ago it was going to happen. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: EBAY ..request from ATO etc..

Post by traralgon3844 »

There have been a few ebay stamp traders mentioned on the board recently who may have a few worries.

stampcollectorboz and his alter ego gottacute could have a hefty tax bill heading their way. But hang on - Bozic is only selling a few stamps for friends and is just a hobby collector, so he has nothing to worry about. :lol:

The other one is our satchel seller: fone-express. He has been discussed several times before including on this thread.

https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=25568

This was his 90 day sales total back in March.

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Re: EBAY ..request from ATO etc..

Post by DJM »

Like lawyers the world can always use a few less Ebay stamp sellers - let's hope the dodgy sellers get picked up for ripping off the bunnies.

:lol:
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Re: EBAY ..request from ATO etc..

Post by Allanswood »

About time and also about 10 years too late.

You have nothing to worry about unless your skimming extra income without declaring it.

I guess that $20,000 is their base figure for "well, you're not really just a hobby seller anymore but a business aren't you?"

As for the $200,000 turnover, that's also fine - he will have overheads to claim back anyway.

Data matching is a good idea to catch the dishonest who make the honest pay more tax to cover for them.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by stampchris »

It's also got to do with GST. If your revenue is over a certain amount (much more than $20 000) then you need to collect GST.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by DJM »

I spoke to my accountant before deciding whether to register a business for tax, GST etc, and she said that unless I was earning $75k or more per year then the tax office will leave you alone.

Unless things have changed I don't think the Ebay sellers will have much to worry about yet.

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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by stampchris »

DJM wrote:I spoke to my accountant before deciding whether to register a business for tax, GST etc, and she said that unless I was earning $75k or more per year then the tax office will leave you alone.

Unless things have changed I don't think the Ebay sellers will have much to worry about yet.

D.
Agree, though it is over $75 000 in revenue (i.e. sales). However, as mentioned above if you are selling more than $20 000 the tax office may consider your 'operation' to be a business, especially if the intent is to make a profit.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Rebel T K »

We have an easy way around this in NZ,if we can show that we are selling items in order to buy more,then Taxes do not apply. :)
If it's old and interesting...it's gotta be fun :)
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by PeterS »

I don't think this is the first time the ATO has obtained data from eBay. I seem to remember a few years ago they requested details of all power sellers?
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Global Administrator »

This probe comes also from Centrelink as well as the ATO. Two different animals.

They oversee all pensions and benefits - some of which have strict "income" ceilings. Exceed that "income" and fail to disclose it, and your benefit may cease.

One client one mine has had his pension stopped due to his ebay selling and is appealing but not getting far the last time I heard.

Centrelink have made it public for a year they are having a huge crackdown. This may be just a small part of it?

Like shooting fish in a barrel for them, as the offence has OCCURRED before you even know they are onto it.

Indeed they may well make a claim for a year or so of pensions already paid to you.

I have no idea if selling stamps is "income" to them. Maybe a one-off is not, but regularly selling is? Someone might know - not my field of expertise.

=================

Income test

The income test determines the level of income you are
able to receive before you begin to lose your Centrelink
entitlements.

For a pensioner couple, the amount of income you can
receive (including deemed income) before your pension
is reduced is $256 per fortnight. This is called the 'income
test free' amount. For every dollar of income you receive
above this amount, your combined pension will reduce by
50 cents.

If you are a single pensioner, the amount of income you
can receive (including deemed income) before your pension
starts to reduce is $146 per fortnight. For every dollar of
income you receive above this amount, your pension will
reduce by 50 cents.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by lakatoi lover »

The ATO have been requesting this information from eBay for at least the last 4 years.

Once they get the information, the do their data matching and if you get any "red lights", then you are in for an audit of your tax affairs.

I sold a large part of my BC collection on eBay in 2008/9 and had my info sent to the ATO.

I have just completed an ATO audit for that financial year and got the all clear.

My accountant said there are no hard and fast rules on how the ATO determine whether you are a business or a hobby collector, it is done on a case by case basis.

In my case, I work full time and was able to demonstrate that I had a very narrow, specialised collecting area.

I suppose it also helped that I spent almost as much as I sold. :lol:

I got the message again this year, so may have to front for another audit.

Shouldn't be a problem, I spent more than I sold this year. :roll: :roll:

Cheers

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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

Many people think that selling of stamps and covers, as they are a "hobby", aren't taxable unless you sell large amounts and make a large Capital Gain in a tax year.

Take a look at this from the ATO website and think again:

"Collectables

Collectables include the following items that are used or kept mainly for the personal use or enjoyment of you or your associate(s):

- paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings or photographs; reproductions of these items or property of a similar description or use
- jewellery
- antiques
- coins or medallions
- rare folios, manuscripts or books, and
- postage stamps or first day covers.

A collectable is also:

- an interest in any of those items
- a debt that arises from any of those items, or
- an option or right to acquire any of those items.

You disregard any capital gain or capital loss you make from a collectable if any of the following apply:

- you acquired the collectable for $500 or less
- you acquired an interest in the collectable for $500 or less before 16 December 1995, or
- you acquired an interest in the collectable when it had a market value of $500 or less

If you dispose of collectables individually that you would usually dispose of as a set, you are exempt from paying CGT only if you acquired the set for $500 or less. This does not apply to collectables you acquired before 16 December 1995.

Capital losses from collectables can be used only to reduce capital gains (including future capital gains) from collectables."

However, the cost to regulate this with philatelic buyers/sellers/collectors would be so great as to be more expensive than any money they would receive.

This is because:

1. They just haven't got the staff to devote to compliance.
2. What is the "market value" of a stamp as they mention above :?:
3. They would have no idea how to define a "set" of stamps.

As with most other things were taxation is involved in reality, the ATO can only go after the bigger sellers that aren't complying with the rules. That's why they are going for those sellers on eBay, etc. that have larger turnovers.
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Re: EBAY ..request from ATO etc..

Post by gavin-h »

traralgon3844 wrote:There have been a few ebay stamp traders mentioned on the board recently who may have a few worries.

stampcollectorboz and his alter ego gottacute could have a hefty tax bill heading their way. But hang on - Bozic is only selling a few stamps for friends and is just a hobby collector, so he has nothing to worry about. :lol:

The other one is our satchel seller: fone-express. He has been discussed several times before including on this thread.
Well, it was the Taxman who finally got the better of Al Capone, so these characters are in good company :lol:
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Allanswood »

Lakatoi 4 wrote:Many people think that selling of stamps and covers, as they are a "hobby", aren't taxable unless you sell large amounts and make a large Capital Gain in a tax year.

Take a look at this from the ATO website and think again:

"Collectables
Collectables include the following
- postage stamps or first day covers.

You disregard any capital gain or capital loss you make from a collectable if any of the following apply:
- you acquired the collectable for $500 or less
- you acquired an interest in the collectable for $500 or less before 16 December 1995, or
- you acquired an interest in the collectable when it had a market value of $500 or less

If you dispose of collectables individually that you would usually dispose of as a set, you are exempt from paying CGT only if you acquired the set for $500 or less. This does not apply to collectables you acquired before 16 December 1995.

However, the cost to regulate this with philatelic buyers/sellers/collectors would be so great as to be more expensive than any money they would receive.

As with most other things were taxation is involved in reality, the ATO can only go after the bigger sellers that aren't complying with the rules. That's why they are going for those sellers on eBay, etc. that have larger turnovers.


So how many "sellers" are dealing in individual philtelic items above $500 cost each as a going business? Not many!

Most of the ones I know of are business' and trading as such.
That's a single stamp or a small set above $500 a pop!

At a trigger point of just $20,000 a year, that's only 40 sales.

I don't have a single philatelic item that cost me more than $500 so I could happily sell $100,000 in a year of dribs and drabs without a care for capital gain.
However - that's NOT the same as income.
I would probably get a please explain.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by PeterS »

Greg, that referred to Capital Gains Tax, as opposed to Income Tax. The $20,000pa threshold is to look for people avoiding Income Tax, not CGT specifically.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

I should also have added comments on the ATO ruling:

"You disregard any capital gain or capital loss you make from a collectable if any of the following apply:....................

- you acquired an interest in the collectable for $500 or less before 16 December 1995"

1. This statement is ambiguous. Is it the actual purchase price of an item "$500 or less" at the prior to 1995 rate or the present day value of $500 :?:

An amount of say $499 in the late 1970's as a proportion of the standard wage at the time was clearly a hell of a lot more than $450 is today.

So if you bought individual items for below $500 at that time, many of the better one's would now be catalogued at up to 20 times that amount. A massive Capital Gain if sold now, but is it :?:

2. Does "acquiring an interest in the collectable" apply to inherited stamps/covers. I inherited my father's collections a couple of years after 1995, so if I were to sell individual items for $500 or over from that, do they come under that umbrella statement :?:

It really is a whole can of worms :!:
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by PeterS »

The Tax Office uses absolute values, so $500 is $500 whenever it was paid. So, for all intents and purposes, $500 in 1995 is treated the same as $500 in 2011. From memory, you do adjust the gain for inflation.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

Peter, do they actually stipulate that anywhere do you know, as I couldn't find it :?:

If there is, they would need to provide a formula for inflation in their CGT rulings I'd imagine.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Global Administrator »

Does anyone know why 1995 is in their wordng? I thought CGT in theory applied to any asset bought after 1984?
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by PeterS »

Global Administrator wrote:Does anyone know why 1995 is in their wordng? I thought CGT in theory applied to any asset bought after 1984?
Change in CGT legislation at that time, I think, to broaden coverage.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Global Administrator »

Changing it to 1995 from 1984 LESSENED the catchment of assets surely - not broadened it?

So the 1984 date no longer applies?
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by stampchris »

If you buy a collection at auction for more than $500, but then break it down and sell individual items (for example you buy a collection of stamps, and then sell individual sets), how does that work for CGT?
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by PeterS »

stampchris wrote:If you buy a collection at auction for more than $500, but then break it down and sell individual items (for example you buy a collection of stamps, and then sell individual sets), how does that work for CGT?
This is the sort of question to ask a tax agent. It can depend on the purpose for purchase. If, for example, you purchased the collection for the specific purposes of resale then it may be taxable as income (at your marginal rate) and not be subject to CGT. Very convoluted and messy and ignore what anybody (including the ATO in the first instance) except a qualified accountant says! :D
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

Global Administrator wrote:Changing it to 1995 from 1984 LESSENED the catchment of assets surely - not broadened it?

So the 1984 date no longer applies?
The purchased prior to 1984 date for exemption of CGT where disposal of land or other investment property is concerned still applies, I know that for sure.

I think the 1995 change must include the assets purchased post 1984 as well.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Justin »

I think on 16 Dec 1995 they closed a loophole in the CGT laws about selling parts of a set for under $500 each part (where the total would have been over $500 if sold in one go), so that the parts of the set are treated as one item from 1995 and onwards. The 1995 date only relates to that sentence that talks about interests in collectables & not to anything else.

I'll quote the Australian Master Tax Guide on this 1995 stuff:

Excerpt from 12-390
"If collectables that comprise a set and would ordinarily be disposed of as a set are disposed of in one or more transactions for the purpose of trying to obtain the exemption for collectables under $500, the set of collectables is itself taken to be a single collectable and each disposal is taken to be a disposal of part of that collectable. This rule does not apply to collectables aquired before 16 December 1995."

Excerpt from 12-640
"Where the collectable is an interest in artwork, jewelry, an antique, a coin or medallion, a rare portfolio, manuscript or book, or a postage stamp or first day cover, it is the market value of the asset itself (and not of the interest) which dtermines whether the exemption applies, eg if a 20% interest of a collectable is aquired for $400, the exemption does not apply because the asset is worth $2000. owever, this rule about interests in collectables does not apply to interests aquired before 16 December 1995. As a result, a capital gain or loss from such an interest is ignored if the cost of the interest was $500 or less."



So, unless you own a collectable jointly with other people, ignore the 1995 date.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by fromdownunder »

Justin wrote: "If collectables that comprise a set and would ordinarily be disposed of as a set are disposed of in one or more transactions for the purpose of trying to obtain the exemption for collectables under $500, the set of collectables is itself taken to be a single collectable and each disposal is taken to be a disposal of part of that collectable. This rule does not apply to collectables aquired before 16 December 1995."
I would be fascinated to find out what is designated as "a set" when it comes to stamps. ATO do not have a clue.

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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Lakatoi 4 »

Exactly my thoughts Norm :!:

Even this excerpt as detailed in one of the posts above makes it pretty clear they know zippo about stamps:

Excerpt from 12-390
"If collectables that comprise a set and would ordinarily be disposed of as a set ......"

"Ordinarily disposed of as a set".....sheesh :roll:
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by PeterS »

Think collections of plates or cutlery here, not necessarily stamps. If you were to sell a complete set (say 8 settings) of silver spoons, separately, you could expect to sell each for less than $500 and so, theoretically, stay below the threshold. It is certainly not the norm to sell such items individually, except, potentially for tax avoidance (or so the ATO probably thought).

I am sure that that was the loophole being closed. I don't really think the ATO had stamps or coins in mind when they considered this. :D
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Trent »

Re the $20,000 figure...

This figure is the threshold where the 'non-commercial loss' rules stop applying.

The non commercial loss rules say that you can not offset a loss against your other income if the loss is from a non commercial enterprise.

Was brought in by the Howard govt at the same time as the GST to stop people creating hobby businesses in order to get a tax deduction against their wage income.

Basically the ATO don't want to know about your business losses even if they are from a commercial concern unless you pass their tests, of which a $20,000 turnover is one.

They do on the other hand want to know about your gains from any business regardless of your turnover. A $20,000 turnover does make an enterprise a business, it is determined by the way you go about it.

It is my opinion that a $20,000 turnover does not automatically make an ebay seller a business. I would look at the frequency and volume of listings they have as well as their rebuying for stock purposes. I don't think a seller is in a business if they are selling off a collection they have accumulated over time even if they have a high volume of transactions and exceed $20k.

They might have some cap gains depending on the value of the items though.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Trent »

I think the wording above about a 'postage stamp or first day cover' being regarded as collectable for capital gains purposes is interesting.

Does this mean that a philatelic item other than a stamp or fdc might get missed by this definition?

This is neither

http://www.richardjuzwin.com.au/Buy_Stamps/p900_listingid/3012/p900_action/displaylisting

Yes it has stamps on it but they are not the reason why it is so valuable.

What about commercial covers, rare postmarks, plate proofs, essays... the list goes on.

It would be interesting to look at the exact wording of the legislation and whether or not there is a catch-all provision like '... or any other item that is commonly regarded as a collectable'.

I reckon they'd have a catch-all provision like this.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by doug »

Wow - what a range of opinions, informed and otherwise.

An "interest" in something is partial ownership.

"a postage stamp or first day cover" is the entire statement relating to philatelic items.

If it is not a $500 purchase price limit exempt collectable, then it is probably a $10,000 exempt personal use asset.

If it is a personal use asset but now 100 years old it is an antique and goes back into the $500 basket - numismatic collectors of old banknotes might keep this in mind.

Many of you who say they buy and sell are conducting a business, regardless of what you think, or in one case what you think your accountant told you.

Are you business sellers quoting your ABN to purchasers?

Are you business buyers withholding 46.5% of the sale price and remitting it to the ATO if the seller is not quoting their ABN or providing a GST exemption declaration?

Please be upfront with your accountant - the ATO has raised the bar and included your Tax Agent in the liability stakes.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Machaggis52 »

stampchris wrote:It's also got to do with GST. If your revenue is over a certain amount (much more than $20 000) then you need to collect GST.

I presume GST is the same as British VAT (Value Added Tax) which is currently an eye watering 20%. VAT does not have to be collected on sales outwith the UK, is it the same in Australia?
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by PeterS »

Yes, GST (10%) is only applicable to domestic sales and is not payable unless the seller is a business and registered with the ATO. Note that it is a requirement, if carrying on a business, to so register. It is also an offence to operate a business enterprise and not pay GST.

Those that operate what amounts to a business on eBay could find themselves being hit for GST (deemed as 1/11th of sales) and income tax as well. In Australia the GST is deemed to be included in the sale price, except in services transactions (e.g. Electricity and Gas) and things like auctions where the tax is added to the knock down price (and to the premiums as well).
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Machaggis52 »

PeterS wrote:Yes, GST (10%) is only applicable to domestic sales and is not payable unless the seller is a business and registered with the ATO. Note that it is a requirement, if carrying on a business, to so register. It is also an offence to operate a business enterprise and not pay GST.

Those that operate what amounts to a business on eBay could find themselves being hit for GST (deemed as 1/11th of sales) and income tax as well. In Australia the GST is deemed to be included in the sale price, except in services transactions (e.g. Electricity and Gas) and things like auctions where the tax is added to the knock down price (and to the premiums as well).
I appreciate that we are wandering a bit off topic... but... When I consider our legislators, I become convinced that they are the ultimate issue of a long line of bachelors. We don't need to buy stamps; barring the professionals on the boards of course; we do need to buy heat. Last winter we went down to -13C, very very cold for us. Our bill for the winter quarter was over £400.00, $US640 ish. Part of that cost was VAT. It is a tax that hits the poorest hardest.

< Steps down from soapbox, and bows to the assembled multitudes. > :D :D
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by mrboggler »

I remember when I was in the Shop and the GST was introduced.
I rang the ATO. 3 times and Got 3 different People who CAME out to the Shop to help me sort it all out,
after a few hours of talking and showing them how I buy and sell stamps, at Auctions, Estates, etc, and how the stamps were sorted, they ALL left saying. its in the TOO hard Basket,
The first guy basically wanted me to be able to show exactly how much each and every stamp cost.and how much I sold it for,
remember this is a one man stamp shop,with tens of thousands of Stamps, coming and going all the time.
As I explained to him, even if I had a 100 Accountants working 24 hours a day ,sorting, pricing, selling,it still would never get done,if I bought a Carton of stamps,say 100000.? how long would it take to list and price EVERY single Stamp. it just is not done,

They ALL admitted it was a TOTAL can of Worms,and none of them were able to give me any real direction.
My accountant at the time,eventually worked out a system that seemed to satisfiy them.
We knew exactly what we bought, and exactly what we sold,and somewhere inbetween was worked out a GST payable, :?
And sent off my cheque every 3 months to teh Tax Dept.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by petercollects0 »

PeterS wrote:Yes, GST (10%) is only applicable to domestic sales and is not payable unless the seller is a business and registered with the ATO. Note that it is a requirement, if carrying on a business, to so register. It is also an offence to operate a business enterprise and not pay GST.
.....
Quite right, however there are turnover thresholds before you have to register, so to be clear, a quote from the Tax office website:

If your business has a GST turnover of $75,000 or more (or $150,000 or more for not-for-profit entities) you must register for GST and you'll need an ABN to do this. If your business has a lower GST turnover, it's up to you whether you register.

Of course, you still have to obey the other rules like declaring earnings and not claiming Centrelink payments when you are not entitled to them (which is what this really seems to be about)

When in doubt, ask the tax office. They are really quite helpful sometimes :shock:
Peter
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by aussie_robbo60 »

It could also work the other way if they get to cocky, buy a collection, keep what you want and sell the rest for a loss and claim it as a tax deduction as you did not and will not make any profit until everything is sold.

So what happens then ?????

Personally I buy collections to increase my own and then sell of the balance just to get some of the cost back, I would on some occasions sell more that $20k per year yet that could also be constituted as a loss due to the original cost price of the total purchase.

The grey area from my perspective is how the hell they intend to value the stamps to start with, Stamp catalogues give guide prices, yet as everyone on this board knows that sometimes they are worth more than the Cat value and other times on 1/3rd of the price. Not withstanding the condition of the stamps compared to the Cat Price.

If I purchased a collection for say $6000 and there was 2000 stamps that's $3.00 each ??? the trouble is that out of the 2000, 1900 could be worthless to me as I do not choose to collect them and the balance of them a value to me only as this is my area of collecting, and for that reason I would not necessarily sell them anyway.

I wonder if anyone at the Tax office has a hobby ???

Gezz they might even tax us on fishing yet, as anything you catch and eat means it free and that's no good for the economy, just imagine at the boat ramp having to weigh your fish in so you could pay a tax on them before taking them home. That would wipe out about half of the shops that supply the Bait, Tackle and boat yards that do pay tax in the first place.

There my thoughts on the matter anyway, where does it stop!!!! and whats next.

Robbo
I am a Collector of all British New Guinea, Papua and TP&NG. Would love to talk to fellow collectors of same. Robbo
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by stampchris »

PeterS wrote:Yes, GST (10%) is only applicable to domestic sales and is not payable unless the seller is a business and registered with the ATO. Note that it is a requirement, if carrying on a business, to so register. It is also an offence to operate a business enterprise and not pay GST.

Those that operate what amounts to a business on eBay could find themselves being hit for GST (deemed as 1/11th of sales) and income tax as well. In Australia the GST is deemed to be included in the sale price, except in services transactions (e.g. Electricity and Gas) and things like auctions where the tax is added to the knock down price (and to the premiums as well).
My understanding is that the requirements for a business to register for GST depends on the revenue you earn (or expect to earn). I understand you don't need to register for GST if your revenue/sales are under $75000. You can register if revenue is under $75000, and hence collect GST, which also allows you to claim back the GST you pay to other business as an credit.

The $20000 limit mentioned above is probably an amount the ATO uses to determine whether you are running a business (for profit) or just selling a few items here and there to make a bit of spare cash and/or get rid of a few items. With sales in this range the ATO would be interested in your sales (and very interested if its over $75000 and GST needs to be paid), and income generated from those sales.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Tassie_Stamps »

Anyone selling more than $20,000 a year on eBay should be keeping proper sales records anyway.

Defrauding the Commonwealth to save a bit of cash isn't worth it when you end up with huge fines... or worse.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by PeterS »

Whilst still on the topic of GST, it needs to be pointed out that it's introduction got rid of a load of other indirect taxes. Most of these (like Wholesale Sales Tax) were horribly inefficient. A pity that all of the State collected indirect taxes (like Payroll Tax) didn't disappear as well.

The difference between GST in Australia and VAT in the UK is the legislation that brought it in. To change teh rate is quite simple in theory (just pass legislation through both house of Parliament) but actually much more complex. The revenue is given directly to the Sates and a majority of those would have to agree to an increase as well.

It might happen under this current Government, I suppose. They are beholden to the Greens and are so unpopular already that another "brave decision" (as Sir Humphrey would have put it) probably wouldn't harm them any more.
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Machaggis52 »

aussie_robbo60 wrote:It could also work the other way if they get to cocky, buy a collection, keep what you want and sell the rest for a loss and claim it as a tax deduction as you did not and will not make any profit until everything is sold.

So what happens then ?????

Personally I buy collections to increase my own and then sell of the balance just to get some of the cost back, I would on some occasions sell more that $20k per year yet that could also be constituted as a loss due to the original cost price of the total purchase.

The grey area from my perspective is how the hell they intend to value the stamps to start with, Stamp catalogues give guide prices, yet as everyone on this board knows that sometimes they are worth more than the Cat value and other times on 1/3rd of the price. Not withstanding the condition of the stamps compared to the Cat Price.

If I purchased a collection for say $6000 and there was 2000 stamps that's $3.00 each ??? the trouble is that out of the 2000, 1900 could be worthless to me as I do not choose to collect them and the balance of them a value to me only as this is my area of collecting, and for that reason I would not necessarily sell them anyway.

I wonder if anyone at the Tax office has a hobby ???

Gezz they might even tax us on fishing yet, as anything you catch and eat means it free and that's no good for the economy, just imagine at the boat ramp having to weigh your fish in so you could pay a tax on them before taking them home. That would wipe out about half of the shops that supply the Bait, Tackle and boat yards that do pay tax in the first place.

There my thoughts on the matter anyway, where does it stop!!!! and whats next.

Robbo
In my case, what happens then is I get a refund on the PAYE that I have paid the previous year. I'll have a hefty business loss this year as well, I'm building stock before I start selling seriously. I sell on EBay US under my board name. I'll be listing in the next few days. :oops: ( :oops: Because of the shameless plug. :D )
With kind regards, Jim
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Machaggis52 »

Tassie_Stamps wrote:Anyone selling more than $20,000 a year on eBay should be keeping proper sales records anyway.

Defrauding the Commonwealth to save a bit of cash isn't worth it when you end up with huge fines... or worse.

If you buy and sell via PayPal, it is dead easy. You can download your history into a spreadsheet, and at a stroke 90% of the figures you need for your tax return are there. :D

I work for HMRC, the tax office. :D
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by aussie_robbo60 »

Machaggis52 wrote:
Tassie_Stamps wrote:Anyone selling more than $20,000 a year on eBay should be keeping proper sales records anyway.

Defrauding the Commonwealth to save a bit of cash isn't worth it when you end up with huge fines... or worse.

If you buy and sell via PayPal, it is dead easy. You can download your history into a spreadsheet, and at a stroke 90% of the figures you need for your tax return are there. :D

I work for HMRC, the tax office. :D
Mate, your either going to be everybody's best friend or the most hated person on Stampboards, Haha :D :D :D

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I am a Collector of all British New Guinea, Papua and TP&NG. Would love to talk to fellow collectors of same. Robbo
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by Machaggis52 »

aussie_robbo60 wrote:
Machaggis52 wrote:
Tassie_Stamps wrote:Anyone selling more than $20,000 a year on eBay should be keeping proper sales records anyway.

Defrauding the Commonwealth to save a bit of cash isn't worth it when you end up with huge fines... or worse.

If you buy and sell via PayPal, it is dead easy. You can download your history into a spreadsheet, and at a stroke 90% of the figures you need for your tax return are there. :D

I work for HMRC, the tax office. :D
Mate, your either going to be everybody's best friend or the most hated person on Stampboards, Haha :D :D :D

God loves a Scottsman with B##ls, British Isles collection, for those that thought other wise :lol: :lol: :lol:
Worse yet, I work in debt management. If you can't pay in full, and call in to try and get time to pay, I'm one of the people you have to negotiate with. :D
With kind regards, Jim
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Re: EBAY sellers ... request from ATO (Tax Office) etc

Post by traralgon3844 »

UPDATE 2015
It would appear the ATO are getting stricter. They are now seeking detals of people making over $10,000 a year. Pretty soon all income will have to be reported.

From news.com.au aka Herald Sun.

THE taxman is launching a hunt for online tax cheats.

EBay and other online market operators will be asked to hand over the records of thousands of Australian sellers to the Australian Taxation Office to check all appropriate taxes are being paid.

Up to 40,000 account records linked to between 15,000 and 20,000 individuals and companies who sold goods or services totalling $10,000 or more in the year to June 30, 2014, will be subject to the latest online audit.

The ATO hopes matching the sales data with its own records will identify those selling goods and services online without paying taxes.

Those with undeclared income or incorrect payment and reporting for GST will be a key focus.

“The ATO will match the data provided by online selling sites against ATO records to identify businesses that may not be meeting their registration, reporting, lodgement and/or payment obligations,” the ATO said.

“The purpose of the online selling data-matching program is to protect businesses from unfair competition by identifying taxpayers who are not complying with their taxation obligations.”

Sales data will be sought from Australian sites that provide an online market place for businesses and individuals to buy and sell goods and services.

This will include eBay Australia & New Zealand Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of eBay International AG which owns and operates www.ebay.com.au.

The 2014 online selling data-matching program will also enable the ATO to gather intelligence to better direct compliance and educational strategies to encourage future tax compliance of online sellers.

The data collected will include sellers’ account names and identification, their names or business names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, email addresses, registration dates, number of annual and monthly sales transactions and the value of annual and monthly sales transactions

More than 6000 individuals and businesses have been contacted in earlier programs resulting in total back taxes and penalties of almost $4 million being paid.
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