UK eBay Seller VAT added at checkout?

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Reverse charge VAT on B2B transactions

A number of sellers are reporting that eBay seller VAT is being added at checkout.

The background to this is that as of the 1st of January eBay, and all other marketplaces, are obliged by law to collect VAT on sales under £135 from overseas sellers. There is no minimum amount and the intention is to increase the VAT take for the country from overseas sellers, some of who in the past might not have declared and correctly paid VAT on sales into the UK.

If you’re wondering if this is connected to Brexit the answer is that it’s not – The EU were also due to bring in similar VAT rules but due to the pandemic disruption this was pushed back to July, at which point eBay seller VAT will be added by eBay EU marketplaces from overseas sellers.

So, back to those based in the UK who are seeing eBay seller VAT added to sales and being collected from their buyers. This appears to be an error and eBay Customer Support appear to be aware of it. We’re hearing a fix is being worked on.

However, one eBay seller has found a solution which appears to work – simply edit your registered address on eBay (even if is already correct). When you make a change to your registered address, it’s likely that eBay will recommend the correct address in which case accept it. and eBay seller VAT will stop being added to your sales to UK buyers.

The really good news is that if you edit your registered address and VAT stops being collected on your listings it will apply to existing as well as future listings – you won’t need to relist everything and can carry on selling as per usual.

This will only work of course if you are a UK seller, if you’re registered overseas then VAT will be collected on sales and this is what is designed to happen. Editing your address should fix the issue for you, but hopefully eBay will fix the bug for those that haven’t spotted their buyers are being charged VAT.

3 Responses

  1. I am not a UK seller, but there is another issue with the VAT too.
    When sending offers to “watchers” eBay is sending this offers to “watchers” without VAT. So for example when I send a 10% discount from item valued at 40, the buyer will receive an offer for 36, which they will accept thinking this is the final price. Then on checkout, eBay will add VAT to the 36 (which was not mentioned in the offer they received), so the buyer must pay more than 36 which they originally accepted!

    Each and every buyer who accepted my offer from January writes me a message about why the price changed and that I should fix it as this is not the price they accepted.

    This is very frustrating and time-consuming and so far it looks like no one is working on that,
    I have a lot of calculations because of this.

    I suggest that the correct way of eBay doing this is that the “watchers” should receive a notification about the offer already VAT included, so they can accept the final price (same as they see on “buy it now” price, which is already VAT included).
    It should be an easy fix which makes a sense, so let’s hope It will be solved soon.

    Anyone else having the same issue?

    BTW, I don’t agree that the VAT is not a Brexit issue, because if there was no Brexit than there would be no VAT on EU goods only 3rd countries goods.

  2. The issue I found is when listing I can determine the VAT%, in some cases it is not the standard 20%, but ebay will charge the buyer 20% regardless of what I fill in this field.

    I am an overseas seller but have been VAT registered and paying my VAT as was required of me. With this change some of my buyers are being overcharged heavily and there is nothing I can do about it.

    Ebay, please fix this asap.

  3. I am a buyer who got charged £40( on a purchase of £200) import tax from a seller in London!
    I’ve contacted eBay three times and they have not refunded my cash. They admitted the error and still haven’t made the refund 25 days after my first complaint.
    They have stolen £40.


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