Amazon and eBay face VAT liability bombshell as HMRC targets ‘sea change’ in attitudes

Publications that covered this story include the Mail Online on 23 November.
  • Online marketplaces could be liable if sellers fail to pay VAT

Responding to the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget announcement that online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon will be made jointly liable if sellers on their platforms fail to pay their VAT, Michelle Dale, VAT Manager in our Manchester office, says:

“This is an enormous new power for HMRC, and the taxman is clearly targeting a sea change in attitudes among the online marketplaces. Ecommerce platforms will see this as a bombshell.”

“Unpaid VAT on online sales has become a huge issue in recent years, and has cost the Exchequer a vast amount in potential lost revenues.”

“The cost to the major platforms if they fail to police their sellers properly is now potentially massive.”

“The ecommerce platforms will resent the idea that they will have to act as a branch of HMRC, not only collecting revenues but sharing the admin burden too.”