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The New UK Vat Laws For Imported Goods / Potential Headache

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Pillar Of The Community
United Kingdom
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Posted 12/01/2020   12:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I suspect that the new UK VAT position has been arrived at for a combination of reasons, which are likely to include protectionism and the sheer chaos that the government's inept Brexit negotation will lead to. Anything you can hand off to someone else is doubtless highly desirable. The real focus of tax concerns in Europe tends to be different - large corporations like Amazon that enjoy massive sales in individual countries and pay minimal tax.
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Posted 12/01/2020   1:01 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Phillystamper, can you please post the link where you are finding the 70K UKP threshold for exemption?

That is directly contradictory to what I posted above, which is taken from www.gov.uk:

www.stampcommunity.org/go/li...january-2021" target="_blank">https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...january-2021

Edit: The forum software is automangling the URL, so I cannot get it to actually post. It looks correct in the edit post window, but the page rendering engine completely breaks it.


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Edited by revenuecollector - 12/01/2020 1:08 pm
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Posted 12/01/2020   1:19 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
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Posted 12/01/2020   1:29 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add m and m to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
this sounds like grounds for another tea party for those affected. just more fall out from the brexit vote I guess.
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Posted 12/01/2020   2:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Phillystamper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
*&?$!! Looks like their website is not up to date. They link to this page from the 2021 page BUT this page is from years ago so superseded by this? God what a contradictory mess!
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-wha...ds-in-the-uk

So the above mentioned 70k threshold does NOT apply. Maybe?!
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Edited by Phillystamper - 12/01/2020 2:29 pm
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Posted 12/01/2020   8:59 pm  Show Profile Check Battlestamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Battlestamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I'm not in eBay's managed payment system yet, but still received the email about it:

"Starting January 1, 2021, eBay will be legally required to begin collecting and remitting value-added tax (VAT) for consignments (shipments of goods) imported into the UK with a value of up to 135. eBay will charge buyers the applicable VAT amount directly and remit this sum to the UK Tax authorities.

U.S. sellers who create listings on the UK or any EU site and who trade with UK buyers will need to provide both gross price (i.e., the item price including VAT) as well as the applicable VAT rate used to calculate the gross price on all listings. If sellers do not specify gross price and VAT rate, or if sellers specify a VAT rate of 0%, eBay will assume that the price provided is the net price (i.e., the item price excluding VAT), and eBay will calculate the gross price that is displayed to buyers.

We strongly urge sellers listing on eBay.co.uk or any EU site to update their existing listings to include applicable VAT rates as soon as possible. All new listings should include a VAT rate. You will find the field for the VAT rate beside the price when you create or edit listings.

What you need to know:

- Starting January 1, 2021, eBay will start to collect and remit VAT for UK imports on all consignments with a value of up to 135. There will no longer be a VAT exemption for small consignments up to 15.

- In cases where the seller is a non-UK business and the goods are already in the UK, eBay will collect and remit VAT for goods sold to consumers within the UK, regardless of their value.

- Sellers should begin listing the applicable VAT rates on all their existing and new listings as soon as possible.

- Starting March 1, 2021, a VAT rate will also be required on all EU sites when listing items.

To see the latest information on the upcoming changes, please visit UK Seller Center 2021 VAT Changes:

https://sellercentre.ebay.co.uk/glo...-vat-changes

This email is not intended as tax or legal advice. We recommend that you seek independent tax or legal advice to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Thank you for selling on eBay,
Your eBay Team"

This part is key: "U.S. sellers who create listings on the UK or any EU site and who trade with UK buyers". I use the .com site probably like the vast majority of U.S. sellers. I see this as a nothing burger, shrug my shoulders and it's business as usual. If some sort of VAT/taxes are collected by a buyer from the UK that's on eBay to deal with.

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Posted 12/01/2020   10:09 pm  Show Profile Check docgfd's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add docgfd to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
From the UK site:

"From 1 March 2021, eBay will make it mandatory to add the VAT rate on all UK and EU sites when listing items."

This does make it appear as though we in the US won't be affected, and I'm hopeful that's the case, but I suspect it won't be long before we're sucked into this abyss. I've already started shifting more and more into HipStamp and if this does affect US sellers now or in the future, I'll simply be gone from eBay all the sooner.
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Posted 12/01/2020   10:30 pm  Show Profile Check revenuecollector's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add revenuecollector to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with Battlestamps' take. The key though is the assumption that the listing of a U.S. seller showing up on UK eBay just by a buyer clicking on "Worldwide" is materially different from a U.S. seller "listing on UK eBay" and that the former is not interpreted as the latter.

If that is not the case, then the only way to not have to edit a zillion listings and figure out what VAT rates to put in each listing will be to no longer sell to the UK, and in short order the entire EU.
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Posted 12/02/2020   09:17 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add usinbritain to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I've been UK VAT registered since 2000 (and also registered with several US states for sales tax). Hopefully eBay and others will be able to cope with the different VAT rates which can apply to stamps & postal history: for imports from outside of the EC (outside of the UK from 1/1/21) the usual 20% rate was reduced to a preferential rate of 5% many years ago but although FedEx copes, Parcel Force/Royal Mail ignore it and charge the incorrect 20% rate.

UK stamp dealers who are required to be VAT registered (ie selling more than 85K p.a. in "non-exempt" sales) or have registered voluntarily with less than 85K p.a) have different VAT schemes to choose from, ie margin scheme (VAT due on the difference between buying & selling prices and included in the selling price) or global scheme (which is too complicated to explain here). The only dealer I'm aware of which charges 20% VAT on top of the selling price is/was Stanley Gibbons. And exports are "zero-rated" to dealers anywhere and collectors outside of the EC.

eBay Germany copes well with the different VAT schemes for stamps but that doesn't necessarily mean that eBay UK, eBay USA or other selling venues will cope.

Steve Taylor


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Edited by usinbritain - 12/02/2020 09:19 am
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Posted 12/02/2020   09:26 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Steve - I think I'm right in thinking that some material related to stamp collecting is zero-rated?

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/zero-ra...notice-70110
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Posted 12/02/2020   11:35 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add usinbritain to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Geoff,

I'm not a tax expert but my understanding is that stamp reference books, catalogs ("catalogues"), magazines, etc are zero-rated for sales within the UK (EEC). Stamps, covers, collections, etc when exported outside the UK (EEC) are also "zero-rated" but under a different part of the VAT regulations. If you're really keen, the HMRC VAT publications to read online are Notice 701/8 (postage stamps & philatelic supplies), Notice 718 (Margin schemes for second-hand goods), Notice 702 (Imports) & Notice 703 (Exports)

Steve Taylor
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