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Beware Facebook!

Everyone loves social media, don't they? As a tool for keeping in touch, especially with distant friends and relatives, it has become an indispensable part of daily life.

Many businesses are now using Facebook and Twitter to promote themselves, often by posting photographs of their work and products. We have seen a wide range of businesses using social media: builders, craft shops, landscapers, kitchen fitters, restaurants and cafes to name but a few.

Our children these days are taught to be aware of their on-line presence and rightly so. The phrase "once it's out there, it's out there" has never been more true.
 
It may therefore come as no real surprise that HMRC is finding that social media and the web generally is an extremely useful source of information both to seek out businesses that are not being properly declared, but also to gain background information to assess whether declared information is consistent with other sources. We all "big up" our successes, but sometimes the gap between what has been declared and what has been claimed is just too wide.

The obvious rule is always declare your profits and pay your tax. However, be aware that what you say about yourself on-line is accessible to everyone, not just potential customers. If you find yourself as a subject of an HMRC enquiry, do not be surprised if anything you say on the web is used as evidence against you.......