eBay NI sales to GB SNAFU billed net of VAT

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We’re hearing about a glitch that started as early as Friday, where eBay NI sales to GB customer might be being reported net of VAT. As far as we’re aware, the issue only impacts Northern Ireland based VAT registered sellers when selling to a customer based in Great Britain.

The result of this is that impacted transactions will have seen customers get a 20% discount and of course if you’re VAT registered not only have you taken a 20% hit but you’ll still be liable for paying VAT to the Revenue.

In the image above, you’ll see the at the top a screenshot from the view item page where an item is offered for £12.99. Add the same item to your shopping cart and the price magically changes to £10.83 with no explanation…. but the explanation is that I’m based in GB and the seller is VAT registered and based in NI.

Sellers will want to check their transactions from the weekend before shipping, paying especial attention to eBay NI sales to GB. If you’re not based in NI then (as far as we are currently aware) the issue shouldn’t be impacting you.

If you are based in NI, the advice we’re hearing that eBay support have given is to (unlikely) take a 20% hit or (more likely) cancel the order and communicate the situation to your buyers. As the transaction would have been completed at the discounted price, eBay have no way to recharge the buyer the additional 20% so they can’t remedy the situation at their end.

Those who wish to speculate might think that some how Northern Ireland reporting as been separated from the rest of the UK for eBay’s internal systems. eBay NI sales to GB seem to be treated the same as those for instance to the US under the assumption that they are out of the scope of VAT and it shouldn’t be charged at the point of sale.

Let us know if this situation has impacted you and how you (and eBay) are handling it.

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