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?