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In 2008 the Canada Revenue Agency came out on top when the Federal Court of Appeal upheld a previous decision which compelling online-auction giant eBay to provide the CRA with the names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and, most important, gross sales figures for all Canadian PowerSellers. An eBay PowerSeller is someone who sells at least $1,000 (U.S.) a month in online sales.

The legal battle to withhold the names and protect the privacy of eBay buyers and sellers began in 2006, when the CRA launched an investigation to see if eBay PowerSellers were reporting online sales revenues on their 2004 and 2005 income tax returns.

The Taxman’s win exposes the identities of eBay sellers and buyers to the scrutiny of the CRA, who are not known for being about shy about using every means at their disposal to audit taxpayers by stealth.

Hobby sellers who have full-time day-time jobs are likley to be caught when the CRA cross-references their T4 slip(s) with PowerSeller data. When the same SIN comes up in both places, CRA will review the T1 return filing to see if all the income was declared. If not, watch out for the Taxman.

Any online vendor can be caught in a similar trap. Don’t think you can hide behind the internet. Once upon a time it may have been anonymous. Today, everything you do online leaves a breadcrumb trail that leads straight to you.

If your tax filings have not been entirely accurate, deal with it now. Call 1-877-TAX-7902 for help. DioGuardi The Tax Brokers can square things with the Taxman.

Click here to book the next available appointment.