Registering for UK VAT to Sell into UK

I’ve searched the forum and can’t find much about this which makes me think either
1 - I’m rubbish at searching- very likely
2 - Everyone who sells into UK is super efficient and have already registered
3 - People don’t know they need to register
4 - I’ve misunderstood everything - very likely
5 - No one is bothering
6 - April fools has come early and Brexit was all just a joke

I’m not that sure that many, if any, people on the forum sell into the UK (I could be wrong of course)

I wish, oh how I wish, that your number 6 was true… :roll_eyes:

My understanding is certainly that you have to register for UK VAT to sell into the UK, which is why so many companies aren’t bothering, but never having had to do it myself, I have no experience. I’m sure someone will come along soo though!

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Article on today’s BBC website - might be worth doing some digging into the background - contact those who were interviewed.

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Thanks Sue, that’s what prompted me. Other articles just said that people in UK would be charged VAT -I thought - when it arrived in UK.

If I understand the article, if the value of the item is low, then the seller has to pay it. If it’s higher, the buyer pays - strange I know. These are the two sentences …

Under the new rules, European companies must directly pay UK sales tax, or VAT, on sales under £135 (€155; $190), so they now have to register and file quarterly declarations with the UK authorities

On orders above £135, it’s much more expensive for all UK clients because they have to pay customs charges and some fees: for example, DHL is charging a fixed fee of €12 per parcel.

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Golly… that’s bizarre, Sue :thinking:

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I think you’re right but I was wondering if any other small (autoentrepreneurs) had done this ?

Basically HMRC wants to close the low value item loophole (as does the EU) but does not want to be processing millions of small VAT invoices.

So, higher value items don’t change - VAT is applied on import and the buyer pays.

For small value items the presumption is that the vendor is a business regularly selling into the UK market so the onus has been put on them to collect UK VAT from the buyer and batch it up into periodic returns.

Where that leaves private individuals or small businesses who can’t afford/don’t want the hassle of filling out UK VAT returns I am not sure - but suspect that “not selling into the UK” is the answer.

Ultimately it is the buyer who pays the VAT (overseas vendors, if they register, will simply pass it on as a higher price).

Reducing choice in the UK market, yet another Brexit “win”.

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I used to sell into the UK but the Wrecksit red tape has stopped it.
The items I sold were typically under £135 so I would now have to register, charge UK vat and submit quarterly declarations based solely on my sales - no offset allowed for purchases. All VAT collected has to be paid to UK HMRC.

Furthermore, the new price (120% of what I used to charge) is what I need to declare on my French income, according to a French tax consultant.

Therefore, tax and cotisations would be due on the sales price (fair enough) and the UK VAT amount, even though my nett income would not have changed.

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Worth remembering that the big marketplaces are collecting theVAT for items under £135, so that is effectively where it leads you… don’t want to do the VAT yourself? Your choices are either as you say not selling to the U.K., or selling via Amazon or EBay. I’m not sure if other marketplaces are also doing this but if so you could possibly avoid the ‘big 2’ at least.

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I wonder what Etsy, for example, are doing…

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This was why I kept it vague, really it’s a ‘big 3’ with Etsy too these days, they have grown tremendously over the past couple of years, but I must admit I’ve never used them as either a buyer or seller so have no idea how they work so just avoided mentioning them :joy:

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Oh dear, is it? I know a number of craft-type people who use it but have no experience! I’m afraid I’ve only heard of those 3 then… sigh…

It’s a bit depressing if Karen’s only options are to give up selling into the UK or to take up smuggling :rofl:

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Brian do you if that is still the case if selling through Etsy etc (where they take the VAT) ?

When someone from UK looks at an item on etsy it adds VAT, charges them the VAT and pays the VATto UK (at least that’s the way I understand it). I did hear somewhere that everyone will have to charge VAT from July - but I could be very wrong about this.

Hi Karen,

I’m sorry, but I have no idea how Etsy or eBay approach the UK vat issue as I don’t use them.


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Etsy are collecting the UK VAT, what I wondered was if they collect it do I declare it for my autoentrepreneur cottisations.

Just thank your stars it was an “oven ready” deal Karen. Imagine if it all hadn’t been thought out thoroughly.


I think I’d ask the local tax office for their ruling.

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