VAT-reg sellers must include tax in listing prices

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File this under “about time too”. Until now, VAT-registered sellers have been able to choose whether they included VAT in their prices, or added it on afterwards. No more.

If you’re VAT registered, and therefore must charge VAT on the items you sell, the prices visible to buyers in your listings must be inclusive of VAT.

I’m almost entirely in favour of this. For the vast majority of eBay sales, which are retail transactions, it’s a given that VAT should be included. Not doing so is exceedingly misleading to buyers, and Trading Standards have quite rightly said that eBay retail prices ought to be VAT-inclusive.

My slight misgiving is in obvious business-to-business transactions: it should be possible to show those prices without VAT, so long as they are clearly flagged as such: that is, after all, the norm with B2B sales. The same goes for sellers who sell outside the EU, where they don’t need to charge VAT. Would it really have been too much to ask for eBay’s programmers to add an extra field to listings, so that prices could be shown, where appropriate, both with and without VAT?

9 Responses

  1. I back this. It just makes sense.

    I bought something a few months ago… and got stung for VAT (it was in the very small print).

    Yup. Should’ve read it. But I didn’t. But actually it was the seller who was bearing the brunt. His Feedback was terrible.

    It just pays to be upfront.

  2. I will have to stop auctions now 🙄 I clearly stated at least 3 times VAT would be added and never had a problem, but I couldn’t take the risk on running a VAT inclusive auction now my items are to valuable and the VAT amount to large.

  3. Regarding VAT for non-EU buyers.. not really a problem anymore for me. Remember those well thought out changes last year to searching?? Well, I went from about one sale a day to North America down to one sale approx every 45 days. Listing directly on .com didnt revive them at all 😕

    Obviously that is my fault. 🙄

  4. Indeed Biddy.

    Whirly do a title search for VAT to see what other people do.
    Look at this joker: 150209267379 The body doesnt load for me at all, but he lists 299 + VAT in the title, but the starting bid includes the vat at 351.33.

  5. I class my sales as B2B on the basis that anybody buying a vending machine will be using it for or in business.

    Even so I have been listing VAT inclusive. If other sellers have to do the same it will level the playing field a bit for me and saves me having to use subtitle to highlight that my prices are VAT inclusive.

  6. I am in the about time group too. I have always included VAT in my prices, I think most of people buying anything on ebay assumes the final price includes VAT (even B2B). It would be nice if ebay made an allowance for the VAT on the FVF but it at least it is now means a level(er) playing field for all.

  7. Won’t this be very mis-leading then to all buyers not located in the UK? VAT is charged based on the destination country.

    Also, how can VAT be expected to be included on an Auction? If you go to any auction you are paying the Hammer price, plus VAT, plus a buyers premium.

  8. Actually Steve, at B&M auctions in the UK ,other than in rare cases, items are offered under the auctioneers margin scheme. The hammer price is deemed to include VAT at 17.5%, and may not be treated as input tax for VAT purposes, the only thing liable to additional VAT is the auctioneer’s commission (aka the buyers premium), which has VAT levied (and reclaimable) in the normal way.

    For any eBay auction item, if it is a new item and subject to VAT, the VAT man would consider that the final auction price would include an element of VAT if it was to be delivered to UK/EU, and would be a net price not including VAT if it was to be delivered to ROW.

    Second hand items are not subject to VAT in the normal way, but if the seller’s turnover means that they are liable for VAT registration, then they will calculate the VAT on the Margin Scheme, which levies the VAT on the seller’s profit margin. However, VAT may not be charged to the buyer in this case.

    Then there are the various Flat Rate schemes – I don’t know about those, hopefully someone who does will be along later…. 😀



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