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Taking a gamble?

By Mark McLaughlin, June 2020

Mark McLaughlin looks at one activity where HMRC normally argues that no trade is being carried on. 

It is relatively common for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to argue that an individual’s activities amount to a trade, so any profits from that activity can be taxed.  

Is it a trade? 

Regular and structured transactions on e-Bay or Amazon are examples where HMRC has been looking out for undisclosed trades being carried on. In many cases, the scale of activities will be such that the trading allowance of £1,000 per tax year is insufficient to exempt the gross income from those activities, so it will be necessary to register for self-assessment and pay tax on profits. 

However, for certain trades HMRC seek to argue that no trade is carried on. One such activity is gambling. This is perhaps understandable; most gamblers are unsuccessful in the long run. If

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