VAT rules for retailers using online marketplaces

Under new rules that came into force last year, HMRC has the power to force overseas retailers to appoint a UK-based VAT representative or to provide a financial guarantee. These rules currently apply to overseas retailers that supply goods already in the UK at the point of sale, to UK consumers through an online marketplace (such as eBay or Amazon).

If the overseas retailer fails to comply then the online marketplace and / or the UK-based VAT representative used by the overseas retailer can be held jointly and severally liable for unpaid VAT. This will only happen if and when the overseas trader does not comply with HMRC’s directions. HMRC will then put the online marketplace on notice that it may be liable for the VAT in respect of the overseas trader’s future sales through its marketplace.

It was announced as part of the recent Budget measures that these rules are to be extended to make the online marketplaces jointly and severally liable for:

  1. Any future VAT that a UK business selling goods via the online marketplace fails to account for once they have been notified by HMRC. This extends the rules to UK registered businesses (in addition to existing rules for retailers based overseas).
  2. Any VAT that an overseas business selling goods via the online marketplace fails to account for where that online marketplace knew or should have known that that business should be registered for VAT in the UK.

In addition, online marketplaces will also be required to display the VAT numbers of any sellers using their website and to check that the numbers are valid. These new rules will take effect from the date that the Finance Bill 2017-18 receives Royal Assent.

Posted in Value Added Tax

Exeter Accountant MJ Smith & Co

Celebrating 25 years of excellence.

Free 1st Meeting
Fixed Fees
Free Support!

Find out more

Latest News

Can we claim for marketing, entertainment and subscription costs?

The self-employed are often concerned if an expense is allowable or not for tax purposes. In this article, we will …
Read More

Basic monthly tasks if you run your own payroll

One of the most time-consuming admin tasks associated with the running a small business can be dealing with the payroll.Generally …
Read More

The end of credit card payment surcharges?

From 13 January 2018, it will become illegal for any business to charge a fee in addition to the advertised …
Read More

Twitter Feed