Online Retailers Face Crackdown over VAT Fraud in UKAdded: Friday, December 25th, 2015
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Amazon and eBay are under investigation by tax officials on whether the companies can be held responsible for ballooning VAT fraud associated with lots of small overseas sellers now dominating sales of many popular items. It turned out that lots of high-value gifts including electronic gadgets are being sold on Amazon’s website without VAT being charged.
In advance of the Christmas rush, an increasing number of small overseas sellers have imported goods into the Amazon’s warehouses in the United Kingdom. These VAT-free sellers usually have virtual office or residential addresses in China, Hong Kong and the United States, and the UK tax officials know little about them. Moreover, in November eBay was going to report a number of sellers on its site to tax authorities after discovering that some Chinese traders provide invalid VAT numbers or share, or clone, numbers belonging to other companies.
As a result, British tax authorities have set up a task force to investigate VAT evasion by overseas online sellers and have already held urgent meetings with senior figures at Amazon and eBay. The companies deny that they had been collaborating with such overseas retailers to defraud the taxman of millions of pounds, pointing out that responsibility for charging the correct VAT lies with sellers, not the platform. The duty of the website is just to help sellers understand their tax obligations, so they can’t be held liable in cases of evasion.
In respond, the officials admit that the current VAT rules belong to a pre-Internet age and are now open to widespread abuse, so online platforms should perhaps be made liable for VAT.
Friday, December 25th, 2015
|posted by (2015-12-25 16:37:16)|
|So they now want online retailers to do the government's job of vetting sellers? This makes them part of the government, doesn't it?|
|posted by (2015-12-26 06:37:24)|
|Exactly. You can't tell where the government ends and the retailer begins. They're unpaid government spies.|
|posted by (2015-12-26 06:52:42)|
|Ah yes...Ebay the whiter then white company always on the side of law and order, that does not pay it's fair share of tax to the UK or other European countries it operates in...Something ironic there surely?|
|UK should be more like America not many try to rip off the tax man over there it's straight to jail you go|
|@Boghound. Ebay is stealing by charging duty or customs brokerage fees on used and new items that should be going across for free, just about everything, when shipping to Canada from USA. One item might be charged the extra fees, the same item from another buyer none. That or the seller is raping its buyers.||
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