Questions in Parliament re eBay, Amazon, Chinese sellers and VAT

Lord LucasMeet Lord Lucas. You can find him on Twitter. He has a blog (which we’d encourage him to update more often) and he’s on Wikipedia.

He’s one of the few hereditary peers that remain in the House of Lords.

But’s he’s asking questions that many of you may well like. Find more here about all the questions he’s been asking. But it looks like he has the bit between his teeth asking questions in Parliament about overseas sellers and VAT. No bad thing.

Here’s a question he’s asked and also the Government response:

HM Treasury Electronic Commerce: 24 November 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord O’Neill of Gatley on 17 November (HL3227), what discussion HMRC has had with Trading Standards about VAT fraud among online traders operating from abroad; on what dates they held those discussions; by what medium; and with what outcome.

Here’s the answer:

Answered by: Lord O’Neill of Gatley Answered on: 08 December 2015
HM Revenue and Customs is engaging with Trading Standards, both bi-laterally and through cross-government groups, to establish a coordinated response to VAT fraud by online traders operating from abroad. Additionally, HMRC has on-going policy and operational exchanges with Trading Standards via various media including face-to-face meeting, e-mail and telephone, sharing information and intelligence in line with established information gateways.

This is the first time we’ve noted that there’s something going on in the corridors of power regarding VAT, eBay and Amazon and overseas sellers who aren’t paying their dues.

It will be interesting to see if it comes to anything. But clearly Lord Lucas is harrying HMRC and the Government.

Will Lord Lucas turn out to be the unlikely champion for small marketplace sellers in the UK? We shall see.