UK eBay & Amazon traders launch petition about Chinese sellers and VAT

Over 100 eBay and Amazon sellers in the UK have signed a petition to bring the problems of Chinese and other non-EU sellers seemingly avoiding VAT to the Government’s attention.

The full petition reads: “Stop the £billion VAT Fraud on eBay & Amazon by Chinese, NON EU & UK businesses

£billions is being laundered out of the UK by NON EU companies on eBay & Amazon. UK fulfilment centres are dispatching their stock.

eBay, Paypal & Amazon must be forced to verify & display ALL business sellers details; company name, address & VAT status

NON EU sellers must display VAT numbers”

It’s clear from emails we’ve received from eBay and Amazon sellers today (and read on Facebook) that many feel very strongly that the laws as they stand, which as far as we know eBay and Amazon comply with, don’t adequately serve those UK based sellers who do pay their VAT.

We’ve written about this issue in the past.

However, at Tamebay, we are not sure this particular petition is the right way forward. We feel that the billions of pounds figure mentioned in the petition is unverifiable. We’re also not sure invocation of the term “laundered” is right and, most importantly, we don’t believe the petition text adequately explains the problem to anyone who is not already familiar with the situation.

If you’re going to campaign on an issue it must be clearly explained and this petition is lacking there. It is vital to mollycoddle both the media and the decision makers about the issue at hand.

We do agree with the cause however. There is no reason why any business seller promoting their sales on UK online marketplaces shouldn’t be required to display information that shows they comply with their tax obligations in the UK on every listing.

If the petition receives 10k signatories the Government pledges to respond to it. 100k signatures means it will be considered for debate in Parliament.

Will you be signing the petition?