Daily Mirror and Chinese VAT sellers on eBay UK latest

The Mirror continue its investigation into Chinese sellers on eBay UK not correctly displaying VAT numbers in the latest piece by Andrew Penman titled: eBay insists these Chinese sellers are VAT registered – so why won’t they reveal their VAT numbers?

And now politicians are getting involved, quoted in the article is Shadow Small Business Minister Toby Perkins MP who said: “Businesses should be able to rely on the Government to stand up for them and ensure that rules are properly enforced. If our firms are being unfairly undercut, as this research suggests, then ministers should be fighting their corner and working across government and with providers, to close these loopholes.”

eBay have told Tamebay: “If any eBay sellers are found to be breaching VAT compliance rules then that is completely unacceptable. All non-UK sellers with inventory located in the UK should be UK VAT registered, and we cooperate with HMRC in all cases to help them enforce the law where there is evidence of underpayment of taxes. Where we identify sellers that are not compliant, we take action to suspend their accounts.”

This is an issue that concerns many sellers on eBay and, whilst it has proved a vital catalyst, I’m not entirely convinced that the Mirror banging on about it and a mere handful of offending sellers in one category sheds much light.

It’s a bigger problem than iPad covers. It seems to Tamebay that the HMRC holds the burden of responsibility to crack down on it and eBay needs to cooperate fully (and eBay does seem quite willing). The next comment I’d like to see would be that they are both working together to fill the national coffers with whatever unpaid VAT they can.