HMRC offers direct sellers an opportunity to settle tax affairs

HMRC is offering direct sellers such as door-to-door sellers and agents the chance to come forward and settle any unpaid tax they owe as part of a time-limited campaign.

'Direct sellers' who sell straight to customers without the need of a shop may also include consultants, representatives, distributors and those demonstrating products door-to-door and who take commission on sales.

Under the campaign they will be able to take advantage of paying the tax they owe and benefit from lower penalties than if HMRC were to find them at a later point.

Marian Wilson, head of HMRC campaigns, said: "If you are involved in direct selling and have not told HMRC about all of your income, you may not be paying the right amount of tax. The Direct Selling campaign is an opportunity for you to bring your tax affairs up to date, on the best possible terms."

Direct sellers are generally considered to be self-employed and are therefore responsible for telling HMRC about their earnings and calculating and paying their own tax.

Those wanting to come forward and take advantage of the more lenient terms on offer will need to complete an online disclosure form saying they are interested in taking part in the campaign. They then have until 28 February 2013 to tell HMRC about any tax due and pay and tax, interest and penalties owed.

HMRC's campaigns form part of an ongoing crackdown on tax evasion by the Government, with the Liberal Democrats this week pledging to raise £4 billion by tackling tax evasion in 2012 and £9 billion by 2015.

In addition to pledging a further £900 million to HMRC to increase its resources dedicated to catching tax dodgers, it will also increase the number of staff dedicated to tackling off shore tax-evasion.

Speaking at a conference this week, Danny Alexander also said it would be 'coming after' the wealthiest 500,000 individuals in the UK with a net worth of over £1 million who do not pay their 'fair share of tax.'