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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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I am self employed, on a Tier-1 (general) visa and applying

Customer Question

I am self employed, on a Tier-1 (general) visa and applying for ILR in July 2014 as I will be completing 5-year. I am an online retailer selling through eBay and Amazon Stores.

My question is what documents from Paypal, eBay and Amazon I need to submit? As these are online platforms, its very difficult to get paper statements from them. I will obviously be submitting my accountant statement and reports but need to know will UKBA approve online statements from above online platforms? And what documents will be required.

In my last extension I submitted total income of £24578 from self employment (Forex Mentoring Business) for the year 2010-11.

In 2010-11 the net profit was £19690 (Upto 5 April 2011).

From 06 April 2011 to 30 April 2011, the net profit was £4888.

The Tax was fully paid (2012) on £19690 (upto 5 April 2011)

However, The Tax paid (via adjustment in personal tax free allowance) on £4888 (6 April 2011 - 5 April 2012) was £144.40. Its because there wasn't any business activity for the whole year after initial income and expenses accrued up.

My question in this regard is I have heard that UKBA in some cases considering such tax management as deception. Is this true? if yes, would this case be seen as deception?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 4 years ago.

The guidance provides as follows:

Self-employed earnings within a business or company structure:

If an applicant has worked in a self-employed capacity in his/her own business or
company structure and has chosen to keep his/her earnings within the business
or company, he/she could provide:

business or company accounts that meet statutory requirements and
show the net profit made for the earnings period claimed; and

personal/business bank statements.

If the applicant’s accounts and bank statements only show the gross amount of
profit for the business he/she should also provide a third piece of evidence
showing the net profit of the business for the period claimed, for example a tax
return which can be for either self-assessment, or corporation tax, or they can
submit an accountant’s letter.

This is because we can only consider the net profit of the business for the applicant’s income.
If the applicant is not the sole shareholder of the company he/she should also
a letter from his/her accountant confirming his/her shareholding and the
proportion of net profit before tax to which he/she is entitled for the earnings
period claimed.

All accountants must be either fully qualified chartered accountants or certified
accountants who are members of a registered body.

So, you need to worry about your net income, not the amount of tax which has been paid. As long as the tax paid by you under the tax management scheme was lawful , you should be fine.

Proof of earnings:

Personal bank statements showing the payments made to the applicant:
Bank statements provided must be on official bank stationery, and must
show each of the payments that the applicant is claiming. If the applicant
wishes to submit electronic bank statements from an online account he/ she
should also provide a supporting letter from the bank on company headed paper
confirming that the documents are authentic. Alternatively an electronic bank
statement bearing the official stamp of the bank issuing the statements will be
accepted. This stamp must appear on every page of the statement. For the
purposes of this guidance an online bank account is one that operates solely over
the internet and sends their bank statements to their customers electronically (for
example over the internet or via email).

Self-employed applicants only - letter from the applicant’s accountant
(confirming that the applicant received the exact amount he/she is claiming,
or the net profit to which he/she is entitled). This is a letter from the
applicant’s accountant on headed paper confirming the gross and net pay for the
period claimed. The letter should give a breakdown of salary, dividends, profits,
tax credits and dates of net payments earned. If the applicant’s earnings are a
share of the net profit of the company, the letter should also explain this.

You do not need to show any documents from Amazon or Ebay to prove that you are trading on their sites, your Accountant's letter, bank statements, HMRC documents etc will be sufficient.

I suggest you go through this internal Home Office document to see that you have covered all the points:

All the best

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Many thanks for your reply.


I appreciate your response that as long as the tax paid under the tax management scheme, one shouldn't worry. However, I have seen a few cases when UKBA has refused cases where applicant declared the income and later on paid less tax by showing increased expenses.


My tax is paid full on 80% of declared net income but since 20% of remaining income fell into next year bracket and furthermore there wasn't any business activity done later on that year caused expenses to eat all the profit thus reducing tax liability to £144.40


I have confirmed with accountant, according to him its a normal, legal practice. But I would like your input on this as you may have seen such cases being refused.


You have also mentioned I do not need to attach eBay (Paypal) and Amazon statements but on page 48 of the guidance you sent states regarding self employed people that:


"Where an applicant is submitting a combination of bank statements and a letter/invoice summary from their accountant, they must also provide any invoices generated during the period for which earnings are being claimed"

As retailer I sell on these platforms and money is then processed by Amazon and Paypal, which eventually gets transferred to my bank account.


Now the issue is I can print statements with or without transactions, for reconciliation purposes, from paypal and amazon but would they hold any value in the eyes of UKBA?


or Can I really invoice amazon and eBay


or I should make thousands of invoices for each customer.


Did you have such experience in the past. where an online seller applied to UKBA and submitted statement print outs?


Many thanks


Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 4 years ago.

As long as the tax is lawfully paid and calculated, UKBA should not refuse the application and if they do so, there would be a good right of appeal.

I have not seen any similar online retailer case like yours but you should explain why you cannot include invoices as you trade on Amazon and Ebay, I personally do not know how the billing process works for traders on such sites but you may be able to print off your transactions on these sites and include these with your application.

All the best