Oct 18, 2017

Amazon and eBay warned by MPs about VAT fraudsters

Amazon and eBay are profiting from sellers who defraud UK taxpayers by failing to charge VAT, according to a report by MPs. The report estimates up to £1.5bn has been lost from third-party sellers on online marketplaces not charging the tax on sales they make in the UK. MPs in the Public Accounts Committee criticised HMRC for being "Too cautious" in pursuing the "Fraudsters". The fraud has increased because foreign firms selling goods to UK shoppers - usually via online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay - are keeping some of their stock in UK warehouses to provide next day delivery. If items are dispatched from UK soil, the sellers have to charge VAT at 20%. But many have not been, so undercutting genuine UK suppliers and reducing tax revenue, the committee's report found. In a statement Amazon said it was reviewing the report and supported efforts to ensure sellers across all marketplaces were VAT compliant. An eBay spokesperson said it was going "Above and beyond" HMRC's requirements to provide a "Fair marketplace for all our buyers and sellers".

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