Sole Trader Nonsense


Ok so I’ve had an eBay business for a number of years. As a sole trader, so do self assessment tax returns, etc.

Thought it would be a good time to expand, so applied to set up an Amazon business.

Thought it would all be quite straight forward, as I had all the necessary docs.

Sent through a few things, rejected, then…

Get this they’re refusing to accept my welcome to self assessment UTR letter because it’s not dated within the last 90 days… you only get issued this letter once.

It even states it on their help page:

Sole Proprietors in the United Kingdom: You must provide the following documents from HMRC as a proof of Sole Proprietorship. Some of these documents are issued on a one-off basis, or they may be issued once in a year. In this case, you must provide the most recent HMRC document. They are as follows:

  • Self-Assessment Welcome letter: This is issued only once
  • Class 2 National Insurance Contributions bill
  • Certificate of registration for Value Added Tax (VAT)
  • Correspondence from HMRC acknowledging UTR number
  • Notice to complete Self-Assessment Tax Return
  • Utility Bill, Bank Statement or Credit Card Statement in the name of the Sole Proprietor or the Trading Name"

Can anyone help figure out what is going on here please?!


You can ask HMRC to issue a new UTR confirmation letter. I had to do that as none of the other acceptable docs suited me.


are you able to login to government gateway and get anything from there with your UTR on it?


I can ask, but they even state it’s a one off document, so I shouldn’t have to and they know it won’t necessarily be dated within the last 90 days.


Yep tried all that - not good enough apparently, no idea why. I think they need to read their own guidelines.


You could send them your latest request to complete Tax Return, that will have your UTR on it.


If you phone HMRC explain you need proof of UTR in a letter format for amazon they send it out I had to a couple year back.


Always send Amazon copies, photos or scans of documents and ensure they can see it’s a hard copy document. Don’t take a screenshot of an online document as it will be rejected. As HMRC to send you a letter with your UTR number. That will be accepted.


This is from the link you posted in your original post. :slightly_smiling_face:
Sole Proprietors and Partnerships, who do not have the required document issued by HM Revenue & Customs, can request one by calling HMRC at 03002003300, asking for “self-assessment department” and requesting Confirmation of Unique Taxpayer Reference letter. The letter may take two weeks to arrive in the post.


Did that, wasn’t acceptable apparently.


Again, going by their guidance I shouldn’t have to.


As it says: " Sole Proprietors and Partnerships, who do not have the required document issued by HM Revenue & Customs" - I do have documents. I don’t need to call HMRC or request anything. I have provided everything already, another piece of paper saying the same thing dated a week later, is not going to make much difference.


Only been sending scans.


Hi things change and that’s the guidelines like any business things are in place its not upto us and they ain’t about to change them for us so if you want an account you need to do it unfortunately.


You will find there may be a lot of things you shouldn’t have to do…welcome to Amazonion land.
Completely different animal to Ebay.

If you call HMRC for a copy of your UTR number you may need this again when you reach £15,000 so hang on to it if you are likely to pass the £15,000 in the next 90 days


It’s easier getting a business loan. Although, their customer service is shocking, eBay are outstanding compared with the “assistance” I’ve had today. They can’t keep throwing guidance at you then going against the guidance they’ve provided.


Is that just for Amazon or all sources of income?


On Amazon when you reach £15,000 you will go through verification again, usually its very simple, I only had to resend my UTR number. That was 2 years ago and things seem to be getting more and more complex but as far as I am aware everyone goes through this second verification once you reach the £15,000 turnover on Amazon


Fair enough, that is useful to know ahead of time. Thank you.


Personally I would spend time in the seller university and the sellers forums. This forum has basically every type of problem sellers have come across and some are unbelievable horror stories. This will help you avoid some of the pitfalls sellers come across.
One of the usual ones are sellers thinking this is the same as Ebay and you can buy cheap from retail offers then list as new. This gets so many new sellers in trouble, their accounts suspended and their funds frozen while they go through the long drawn out appeal process.
Ebay is a much more seller friendly site but you can be extremely successful on Amazon if you keep to their policies and guidelines. Expect the unexpected on here :grinning::grinning:
Once you have been fully verified and learnt how to list etc etc you may find your order level increases compared to Ebay depending on what you are selling.

Good Luck