Welfare crackdown on eBay sellers

Selling on eBay? You may be forced to declare this extra income

Selling unused items on eBay is a useful way to earn a little extra pocket money. But if you’re using the online auction site to run a business and claiming benefits from Centrelink, you may be forced to declare this extra income.

The Department of Human Services is conducting a pilot project to identify those on welfare who may be trading as a business on eBay and not declaring the income. eBay has been forced to reveal the identities of about 15,000 people who have sold $20,000 worth of goods in one year.

Those who are selling possessions or using eBay as a genuine hobby will not be targeted.

While those who operate within legal guidelines should not be concerned, there is the issue of the Government accessing personal information and using this to data-match.

More information
Read more at SkyNews.com.au 


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    Nan Norma
    15th Jun 2012
    I know someone who has made thousands on ebay while collecting a carer's pension and allowance. But I would ask when does a hobby become a business.

    15th Jun 2012
    A hobby becomes a business when either of the following applies;

    A. The seller registers for GST
    B. The amount of income exceeds the taxable threshold
    C. The seller purchases items, or regularly makes/fabricates items, that are designed to be resold
    D. The seller spends a considerable amount of time on the buying and selling of goods (i.e. - more than 20 hrs a week)

    It's obvious that Centrelink is looking at $20,000 in income as a reasonable figure to class people as being in business. I would expect it would have been more like $6,000-$8,000 that they were looking at.

    I sell items on eBay, but purely as a hobby. I do not have a registered business, I'm not registered for GST, I sell no more than about $4000 a year in total, and I make it clear to all buyers, and in the "about me" on my eBay store description, that I am not running a business, it's purely a hobby to keep me interested, and to bring in a few extra dollars.

    I'm on a military pension and I've advised Vets Affairs that I earn about $200 a week from other sources, and they have reduced my pension from a full pension, accordingly.
    I lose about $30 a fortnight from the full pension, but I'm happy with that.

    Be honest with Govt depts and you have nothing to fear. I get annoyed at people who try to rort the welfare system on a big scale. They focus attention on welfare recipients and lead to people screeching about welfare recipients, "getting rich on the system".
    16th Jun 2012
    The system does not work, I reluctantly told centrelink (through their web page) about two cheats in the last 18 months. Those people are still getting Newstart Payments plus family tax A & B benefits and living in a defacto relationship with a partner earning $40,000 plus a year. "SO WHAT IS THE POINT OF WORRYING ABOUT THESE THINGS " ?

    27th Apr 2015
    When does it become more than clearing things out of storage and actual income generation? It's such a find line, how are you going to determine that people are using eBay as a business and not just selling some knick knacks that happen to be worth a lot of money?

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