No. People who are merely selling unwanted gifts or old pieces of household ornaments should be OK. Most of these people will be covered by either the chattels rule (£6000) or the annual capital gains tax exemption (£8500). However more frequent traders on ebay should ask themselves
• Is there an intention to make a profit?
• Are there patterns in the transactions?
• Are the transactions similar to those in an existing trade being carried out by the seller?
• Are the sales typical to that of a trading organisation?
• The items are bought and sold in a short space of time.
• The items are bought/sold with the intention of selling it.
If the answer is yes to any of the above then it is likely you could be regarded as carrying on a trade and as such you should report all income and expenditure to the Inland Revenue. However, if there is any uncertainty about what they you are doing then either write to your local tax office or seek professional advice. However, in all circumstances I would keep a record of sales made on ebay and the associated costs, just in case!
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