HMRC Targeting Direct Selling

18 February 2013

From time to time the Revenue look at different sectors of the economy and focus their attention on making people aware of what their responsibilities are. They are currently looking at the direct selling market.

Direct selling is when you sell direct to customers either door – to – door, in the customers home or in the workplace. Possibly the most recognised direct selling organisation is Avon products, where representatives go into peoples homes and sell cosmetics, perfumes and household products etc.

The representatives or agents,  as they may be called, may  do the job on a full time basis or as a second job or in the evenings to fit round family commitments. Payment may be in the form of commission rather than a salary or hourly wage.

Direct sellers will usually be classed as self employed although this may not always be the case. To establish your status in this regard you will need to look at the contract you have with the firm you are working for and ask yourself the following:

  • Are you able to work as and when you want?
  • Do you receive holiday pay or sick pay from the company?
  • Do you risk your own money when you set the business up?
  • Can you hire other people to carry out the work on your behalf?

The HMRC is offering all direct sellers that started before April 2011 and that haven’t registered with them as self employed the opportunity to come forward and get their affairs in order.  But hurry you only have until the 28th February to do it.

Go to for all the necessary information

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