Pensioners warned of ‘unexpected’ HMRC bill over crackdown on ‘odd jobs’

Side hustle pensioners have been warned they could be in for a huge windfall. HMRC has urged UK seniors and PAs to declare any extra income to avoid falling foul of an unreported earnings crackdown.

HMRC have cracked down on people doing side jobs, side jobs, odd jobs and more. Under the trading allowance, everyone can earn up to £1,000 a year from a side hustle tax-free, but going over the threshold could mean people owe cash tax.

Liam Quirk, chief executive of Quirky Digital, warned that people could also face fines of up to 100% of the tax owed. “No matter where your income comes from, it is essential for you to declare all sources of income in your self-assessment tax return,” he said.

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I have no objection to paying income tax on secondary transactions, that’s what a healthy society depends on,” said a 68-year-old taxpayer who has an eBay side hustle. “But I worry that this could potentially catch a lot of people out who shouldn’t be paying extra tax.”

“We have never considered there to be a tax liability on this as the three of us share the income, which never exceeds £1,000 each annually. Last year we sold around £2,000 worth of images. It all goes through my bank account though, so it would look like I’m making earnings in excess of the £1,000 allowance,” he said.

“I will probably sell a lot less. I’m also very concerned about the continued evolution of government data sharing – eBay will now want my National Insurance Number. I think HMRC are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. While I understand that HMRC want to tackle the ‘black economy’ this feels like a huge overreach.

“Mass surveillance can never be the answer.” A spokesman for HMRC said: “For people selling personal goods online, absolutely nothing has changed. an unfair tax advantage over other traditional businesses.”

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