Running a “Business” on eBay and still collecting Centrelink Benefits

The Federal Department of Human Services has requested and collected from eBay Inc. the name, address, and date of birth of sellers with sales greater than $20,000 in the 2010/11 financial year. 

This program has been named the eBay Project and enables Human Services (e.g., Centrelink) to identify social welfare recipients who may have not disclosed income and assets generated as a result of online trading.

Records exceeding 5,000 individuals will be electronically matched with specific Human Services data holdings, to identify non-compliance with income or other reporting obligations.

Although this data matching project has been announced by the Department of Human Services, it's not hard to imagine the ATO also being interested in this type of information to establish whether sellers on eBay are meeting their tax obligations