Amazon advises sellers to seek UK tax advice in Seller Central

By Dan Wilson August 16, 2016 - 11:51 pm

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 23.28.34

It’s difficult to read the text in the above graphic but it’s the latest news on Seller Central released on 16th August. If you’re an Amazon seller, you can easily view the announcement in your selling dashboard.

It’s an advisory announcement from Amazon that reads:

Information regarding your account
This is a reminder that we may be required under UK legislation to disclose limited information about Seller accounts to HMRC, if HMRC make a formal request to us for this information. If you have questions about VAT ad whether you have a UK was liability, please visit the following websites where you can obtain more information.”

And there follow links to tax advisors who can best advise US and Chinese sellers as well as a link to the relevant UK legislation.

Make of this what you will, but it seems to me that Amazon is covering itself in the likely event that HMRC is going to start using the powers it was granted during the last UK Budget to tackle non-UK sellers who have been exploiting the VAT situation.

What do you reckon?

  • Criticalcricketcritic
    1 year ago

    The powers granted in the last budget have not yet fully gone through parliament.

    It is likely they will be passed late September (2016 Finance Bill). Amazon will have an Account Manager within Hmrc who would likely to have advised them that this is going to happen and Hmrc are going to act on the 900 or so accounts they have been passed of VAT evading Chinese sellers.

    The list also has many hundreds of eBay sellers, yet they are silent as of yet. Is it possible for Tamebay to contact them for comment re their marketplace?

    I have also seen proof that Amazon are emailing Chinese sellers informing them that they have passed their details on to Hmrc……watch this space.

  • Criticalcricketcritic
    1 year ago

    The measures announced in the last budget from plants of the 2016 finance bill. This will be passed hopefully in September.

    It appears that Amazon must have been contacted by their account manager at HMRC and that they are putting this notice on Seller Central in readiness for this. HMRC have a list of 900 VAT evading Chinese sellers and must be ready to run with this as soon as the law comes into effect.

    As of yet there has been no announcement from eBay. Maybe tamebay could contact eBay to see what is happening on their market place in relation to the new law?

  • Andy
    1 year ago

    About bloody time!

  • 1 year ago

    excellent news!

    To be fair, I know a lot of domestic sellers who are ignoring some of their sales, thus not being V.A.T compliant in other EU countries.

    I will be launching some software that will make it easier for Amazon sellers to calculate their V.A.T liabilities in an automated fashion.

    Will let know tamebay readers know when we do launch!

  • glenn
    1 year ago

    good news , HMRC could easily ask EBAY and AMAZON to freeze all the suspect chinese and uk sellers avoiding vat , then send the uk sellers back dated vat bill based on there sales figures from previous years and big fines
    chinese sellers are bit harder to ask for back dated vat but im sure if they have stock at amazon warehouse that could be confiscated or destroyed at amazon expense

  • 1 year ago

    The Chinese traders will simply keep changing accounts to ensure they don’t hit the threshold. It will be interesting to see how Amazon and HMRC deal with that.

    It would be a good feature for Amazon to have a dashboard that helps traders monitor their VAT threshold position in each market and offer better support in this area, this would certainly help expand their FBA offering.

    • glenn
      1 year ago

      amazon seller accounts take a lot of time to get now and paperwork needs be submitted , trying to keep selling on fresh accounts with restrictions will probably by less cost effective then just paying the VAT in 1st place on a genuine account and building a good business

    • James
      1 year ago

      Thomas / Derek the threshold for NETP’s (which Chinese sellers are) is £1.

  • Marcus
    1 year ago

    About time, well done of Chris Heaton-Harris,MP for his continual badgering of the Government to stop the abuse of the Chinese sellers. They have been stealing billions of pounds from us by not paying VAT and taxes which should be going into our Police and the NHS.
    These sellers should be closed down, goods confiscated and banned from the country.
    I feel very strongly about this as they have destroyed British businesses and stolen money from the British people.
    At last Amazon and hopefully EBay are going do something they have the data and the power.

    • Criticalcricketcritic
      1 year ago

      He is my MP and since I met with him in December he has been working with to solve this.

      I will write a book about this one day.

  • Derek Duval
    1 year ago

    Still dont understand why VAT is not charged at source by Ebay and Amazon after the threshold has been met…Job solve. Level playing field

    • glenn
      1 year ago

      i think HMRC have considered this , i have no problem with 20% being taken from my paypal/amazon account at the time of each sale and me putting a vat input claim every 3 months for royal mail/envelopes/import vat etc

  • Alan White
    1 year ago

    Wouldn’t it be a miracle if something actually happened….

    VAT evasion on Amazon has been going on for a long time and is so prevalant and blatant its almost become the norm for oversea sellers.

    Although you cant tar everyone with the same brush (as there are some genuine legitmate oversee sellers) give me 10 min on Amazon and I will find you 15-20 sellers with no Vat numbers, Vat numbers that dont belong or match their company details , or VAT numbers that are simply made up and Invalid.

    The really frustrating thing is that its so easy to verify a VAT number and flag up before a costly Investigation is even needed.

    For example the below website lists many Amazon/Ebay sellers with VAT numbers that are either invalid or belong to someone else.

    This is like saying, here you go HMRC, here is a quick Billion that you could try claw back, no need for lengthy costly investigations, the work has been done for you and verified.

    Are you interested, will you do anything.

    Do you believe in miracles.


    • glenn
      1 year ago

      i fear HMRC have let this problem grow too big , they only need to go on ebay/amazon and type in phone case or nail polish to see the scale of the problem , the worst thing is all the vat evaders are on the 1st page and the vat paying uk sellers are on the 2nd 3rd page , tax/vat fraud actually helps your listings more visible because more sales

    • elvis
      1 year ago

      Hardly any of the sellers on vat fraud site, especially UK ones are still selling goods. They’re probably still selling but under different ebay ID’s since they were published on there

    • glenn
      1 year ago

      is the vat fraud site being mantained anymore , the last tweet on there was 22nd june

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