eBay announcement about VAT compliance for overseas sellers

By Dan Wilson November 10, 2016 - 4:56 pm

eBay have made an announcement regarding UK VAT compliance by overseas sellers. It would seem that eBay is busy behind the scenes trying to ensure sellers are paying their appropriate taxes. In the Budget earlier earlier this years HMRC was granted new powers that means it could hold the marketplaces jointly liable if a sellers wasn’t compliant.

What we don’t know is how many, if any, sellers have since become compliant or whether any have been permanently banished from eBay.

Below is the text verbatim. You can see it on the the eBay UK announcement board here.


Earlier this year, the UK government announced new measures to tackle the non-payment of VAT by overseas sellers whose goods are forward deployed to the UK.

We work closely with HMRC to ensure our sellers comply with their VAT obligations. If we are informed by HMRC that a seller is not complying with these requirements, then we will take appropriate action, up to and including permanent suspension.

We have already contacted hundreds of overseas sellers to notify and educate them on the need to comply with the law and we will continue to remind sellers of their obligations.

To ensure you are compliant, and for further details on this issue please read the latest guidance from HMRC at:

eBay remains committed to providing a level playing field for all sellers and we will continue to work closely with HMRC on this issue.

The eBay Team”

  • Gary
    1 year ago

    The tax evasion hotline information report form can be used to report anonymously to HMRC. Any general search of ebay would suggest that currently ebay talk a good talk. This is at their peril.

  • Martin Leather
    1 year ago

    Not before time! eBay (and Amazon) have been turning a blind eye to this for years as they still get their fees regardless. Now that HMRC are holding them equally responsible for the unpaid VAT they are beginning to take action.
    UK sellers who are VAT registered will welcome a levelling of the playing field.

  • Ifellow
    1 year ago

    I see the problem is about the same as always. Tons commig from fulfilment centres. Costing jobs and costing the UK tax payer and its been costing a long time.

  • Sarju Majithia
    1 year ago

    This is a good start at lease. I have no objection competing with international sellers as long as they pay their dues, however it is highly unfair if they dont as they have a price advantage.

    hugely support a level playing field.

  • glenn
    1 year ago

    oversea sellers will just apply for a VAT number now , but dont actually pay any vat or just submit fraudelent returns , HMRC need to check past sales data and have upto date sales data for that vat number fed to them from ebay/amazon to monitor future vat returns

    • Tony E
      1 year ago

      Agreed. Ebay know exactly how much a seller pays in fees each month. Once a threshold of those fees for paying VAT is reached, it is simple to have that account flagged & then checked, to see that they are registered on Ebay for VAT. If not “Hammer Down”.
      This goes for UK sellers as well as overseas sellers.

    1 year ago

    “If we are informed”
    is the elephant in the room

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