Foreign Trading and Self Assessment

Raging PineapplesRaging Pineapples Well-KnownPosts: 110Registered
Hi Guys and Girls,

A friend of mine has approached me for advice about a possible ebay business he wants to start up as a sole tradership (it should be specialising in coin collecting, although knowing him I should imagine he'll try selling on wholesale items at some point too).

He's expecting an annual turnover from this employment of no more than £5,000 (and that's being generous).

Now under normal circumstances, obviously someone with income as low as this would be required to fill out only the short version of the self employment sheets in their self assessment. However, the guidance says that these sheets should not be used where 'business is carried on abroad'.

Does that refer to a situation where the business is actually based abroad, or do you think it would apply in my friend's instance?

Since he's not VAT registered and would be selling to individuals only, I can't think of any special pitfalls he may encounter in addition to this. Only of course with ebay, making sure he formats his coin adverts in the right way, etc, but that's not an accounting issue.

I don't believe there are any duties at all on importing/exporting old and rare coins - at least none that I've been able to find out about.

Thoughts?

- Chris

Comments

  • blobbyhblobbyh Font Of All Knowledge Posts: 2,415Registered
    Can't help you with the rest of it but there could be laws in some countries prohibiting the shipment of currencies outside their native borders. We recently billed Deloittes in China in RMB's but weeks later had to change the invoice currency to US dollars as the Chinese claimed RMB's couldn't be paid to foreign bank accounts.

    It's unlikely there'd be a problem for small amounts but just be aware it could still be an issue...
  • AndypandyAndypandy Experienced Mentor Posts: 526Registered
    I'd just set up two Paypoo accounts in different trading names & wouldn't bother declaring myself as a business with a turnover that small - it's so much easier & cheaper if he's 'two' private sellers. Ebay are making things pretty hard for business sellers & there isn't really a viable alternative. Tell him to take a look through the ebay discussion forums first. Whatever he posts abroad, he should always mark as a gift on the customs sticker & NEVER state the true value or stuff will never arrive & he'll lose a fortune in Paypoo disputes (seller never wins).
  • Raging PineapplesRaging Pineapples Well-Known Posts: 110Registered
    Yeah, there's certainly an argument for that, but his income will be in conjunction with income under PAYE as an employee and a different Self Employed enterprise. So he should incurr an income tax liability, and I can't be seen to suggest that he 'fly under the radar' so to speak.

    That issue of the value on customs stickers is very interesting, I hadn't thought of that.

    I think sending him to the discussion forums is the best thing to do.

    But if he did register as a self employed enterprise, or lumped it together with his current self employ, presumably he'd want to fill in the larger self employment pages?
  • JodieRJodieR Experienced Mentor Posts: 1,002Registered
    I don't know the ins and outs of coin trading, but he would definately need to complete a self assessment tax return form with supplementary pages for employment income and the short self employent pages. He wouldn't complete the foreign pages.
  • Raging PineapplesRaging Pineapples Well-Known Posts: 110Registered
    It's whether he should complete the short or long pages that puzzles me.

    It should on the one hand be short because the earnings are so low, but the foreign sales may need to be shown on a long SE sheet.
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