People selling directly to customers and who haven’t paid all the tax they owe have one month to come forward and pay up under an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) campaign.

Under the time-limited opportunity, direct sellers – often called agents, consultants, representatives or distributors – must tell HMRC about the tax due and make arrangements to pay before 28 February 2013.

Direct selling involves selling directly to customers and taking commission on sales without the need for a shop. It can involve demonstrating a product in a customer’s home or selling at a party. Some agents sell door to door, and many use catalogues.

From today, HMRC will be writing to direct sellers to let them know about the Direct Selling campaign. After the 28 February deadline, HMRC will begin contacting direct sellers who did not come forward to take part in the opportunity, if HMRC believes they owe tax.

HMRC is inviting direct sellers to a live Twitter question and answer session, with tax experts who will answer questions about the campaign, on 7 February, between 1pm and 2pm. Follow @HMRCgovuk (http://twitter.com/#!/hmrcgovuk) and tag questions #dsqa in advance or on the day.

Marian Wilson, head of HMRC Campaigns, said:

“Anyone involved in direct selling who has not told HMRC about all of their income might not be paying the right amount of tax. The Direct Selling campaign is a chance to bring their tax affairs up to date, on the best terms. Anyone with questions should join our Twitter Q&A on 7 February, where our experts will be available to help.”

Direct sellers are generally considered to be self-employed, and are therefore responsible for telling HMRC about what they earn, and for calculating and paying their own tax

What is direct selling?

Direct selling is when you sell directly to customers usually door to door or in customers’ homes or the workplace. Companies use different terms for the people who sell their products – you may be an ‘agent’, a ‘consultant’, a ‘representative’ or a ‘distributor’.

Your selling may involve demonstrating a product in a customers’ home, sometimes at a party, or you might sell door to door, using catalogues. You might only sell to your friends and relatives. As a direct seller you will usually take commission on the sales you make.

You may be involved in direct selling as a full time business, to top up your income from another job or to fit around your caring commitments.

We can assist you in completing your tax return and make sure you’re claiming everything you’re entitled to. For further information please contact us on 0845 351 0381 or visit our website www.davenportsaccountancy.co.uk