If you sell goods online on sites such as eBay, Etsy or Vinted, rent out your home on Airbnb, or earn extra income from providing services via platforms including Deliveroo or Uber, then these firms will soon start passing on information about you to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). This means it’s vital to check if you need to declare your income through self-assessment and possibly pay tax on it.

Starting on Monday 1 January, so-called “digital platforms” now have to collect extra information about sellers, including – crucially – how many sales they’ve made and how much income they’ve generated.

The platforms will have to start automatically sharing this information with HMRC by 31 January 2025 – the first lot of data-sharing will cover the current 2024 calendar year, which is why it’s worth getting on top of it now.

Previously, HMRC was able to access sellers’ information from UK-based online platforms when required. The new, automatic data-sharing process, which also covers overseas platforms, is being implemented after the UK signed up to rules by the international Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which aim to tackle tax evasion globally.

Your information WON’T be automatically shared if you only sell a small number of goods

If all you’re doing is selling goods online, firms will ONLY pass on data to HMRC automatically if you’re selling 30 or more items a year OR have total earnings over the equivalent of €2,000 (currently around £1,700) (a) – so if you’re doing a lot less than that, it isn’t an issue. However, it’s worth noting you may still have to pay tax if you earn more than £1,000 from selling.

Sites and apps will also have to share information on anyone who provides services (such as food delivery, childcare, plumbing and so on), or rents out property or a vehicle.

Under the new rules, a digital platform is any “app, website or other type of software that connects sellers to the consumers of their goods and services”, according to accounting firm PWC – meaning lots of popular sites and apps are covered.

However, the new measures DON’T apply to cashback sites, such as Quidco and Topcashback, as cashback is not taxable.