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eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

7up
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eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

I got an email with an offer to buy something at £8.54 - i'd looked at the item a few times previously so an email with an offer from the seller offering it at a lower price was welcome. The item is in china.

 

Clicked to view the offer and accepted it. Went to the checkout to find it had now gone up to £10.25. £1.71 more! Okay it's only £1.71 and not going to break me but this is a point of principle - they've upped the price AFTER I have accepted and agreed to pay a lower one.

 

Contacted them, they say it's VAT being added due to the new tax rules because of brexit.

 

Be careful what you now order on ebay if its from abroad - you're potentially going to get hit with 20% more on top of the price you thought it would be - and if you're buying something expensive that could be quite a shock.

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
19 REPLIES 19
Jonpe
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Re: eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

That doesn't make sense.  Surely any country with VAT pays VAT on imports.  I can't imagine the EU having allowed all goods from China to be imported without taking a slice.

It's difficult to find information on line that doesn't talk about businesses importing goods although it's probable that the same rules apply to private individuals except that unless you are VAT registered you can't claim back VAT.

This deals specifically with imports from China from 1st January 2021.

And this one from HM Government itself again only deals with the situation from 1st January so it may have been different before we left the EU.

billnotben
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Re: eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

I hear that we are just doing this a bit earlier that the rest of Europe.

Isn't this part of a past EU directive making sure online sales pay their dues. Or rather the buyer does. Supposed to level the playing field with "real" shops.

Come July they will all be at it with each country charging their own rate of vat (20-23%).

 

Currently it's already added to "buy it nows" but with auctions and offers it comes as an added surprise.

Marksfish
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Re: eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

Can't see any mention of this on eBay as a new policy. If eBay are adding the VAT, they should also be displaying a VAT number on the site. It is a violation of eBay listing policy to list exclusive of VAT, so how does that work?

Minivanman
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Re: eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

Going to have to get my head around that one as I thought VAT was only applied to good made in the UK.

There might be a better source this and probably is, but was the first one that came up from a search.

My bold.

A transaction is considered to be within the scope of VAT if it is:

  • a supply of goods or services;
  • in exchange for some sort of consideration (normally monetary);
  • deemed to be made in the UK or the Isle of Man;
  • made by a taxable person (a taxable person is an individual, firm, company etc. who is or is required to be registered for VAT); and
  • undertaken in the course or furtherance of business.

Don't limit the friends you haven't met with arguments you'll never have.
Minivanman
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Re: eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

Good post by the way @7up as there are going to be a lot of changes we all need to be aware of and watch out for.

Cheers.


Don't limit the friends you haven't met with arguments you'll never have.
Mook
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Re: eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

Isn't this a scam just a scam by the vendor to make more money?

You as a private citizen should not need to pay VAT unless you yourself are VAT registered. 

Now if they'd said Customs then maybe, just maybe, but VAT ...

Minivanman
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Re: eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

We all pay VAT @Mook - being registered just means you can claim it back.


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MisterW
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Re: eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

I think it might be due to this new rule from Jan 2021

Online marketplaces (OMPs) involved in facilitating the sale of imported goods, are responsible for collecting and accounting for the VAT, even when the goods are in the UK at the point of sale. 

Mook
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Re: eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

Really @Minivanman I never knew that Roll_eyes

RobPN
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Re: eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

Some sites which supply to both the general public and business customers have a selectable option on the page of whether prices are shown inclusive or exclusive of VAT.

 

Therefore shouldn't the prices be advertised inclusive of VAT rather than saying VAT will be added?

 

A quick Google brings this up for example;

Compulsory costs and charges: VAT

To include or not to include? - VAT in stated prices

 

Marksfish
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Re: eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

I read a lot about it on the community eBay pages yesterday. A lot of people are blaming Brexit, but is is a European directive we signed up to before leaving and that the rest of the EU will have to implement by July.

it also means in the UK, the under £15 rule has gone and that online sellers are responsible for VAT collection on purchases from £0.01 to £135.00, after that, the seller becomes responsible and needs to register with eh UK for a VAT collection account!! Hence, a lot of non eBay/ Amazon/ Etsy sellers aren't selling to the UK at the moment. There seems to be an issue at the moment in that when you look at an ad (if you go to postage conditions), a lot of sellers are now saying the NIN price includes 20% VAT, but an extra 20% seems to be being added at the checkout. I was given an offer of £4.74 yesterday by a seller, the ad stated 20% included, but at checkout the price jumped to £5.69. I cancelled the order. Looking back over some past purchases, seems I was caught again on a sim car holder which I can't get in the UK, I bought for £2.29 and was charged £2.75. There is something broken with their system and all prices for overseas sellers should be treated as nett and not gross I would say.

Also. Overseas sellers with goods already in the UK are also subject to the VAT addition. So all these Chinese sellers drop shipping from the UK with their business address in China/ Hong Kong/ Taiwan, etc suddenly become more expensive overnight. 

Very shady of eBay to add the extra after committal to purchase though!

Minivanman
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Re: eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

Did I get that wrong @Mook or am I missing something. 


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Mook
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Re: eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

You missed the fact that this topic is about being charged VAT on the importation of goods from a country that does not implement the UK VAT system, even then VAT is a UK thing and payable to HMRC.

Also, I don't see what Brexit has got to do with this since when was China in the EU.

Minivanman
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Re: eBay now charging VAT on foreign items - CAREFUL!!!

@Mook 

Ah right, I didn't think I had, but no worries. 🙂


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