EBay has responded to the Daily Mirror’s article on Chinese tax evasion when selling on eBay UK. eBay confirmed that the companies accused of evading tax were in fact all registered for VAT with HMRC. eBay also mentioned that they are working hard to prevent this from happening and providing the necessary information for Chinese sellers.
See below eBay’s statement in full:
“We understand that all of the Chinese sellers mentioned in last week’s Daily Mirror were issued with UK VAT registration numbers. These VAT registrations were achieved as part of an outreach exercise eBay started in 2012 to educate overseas sellers on their UK tax obligations. This has resulted in 450 overseas merchants with UK inventory registering for UK VAT. eBay’s efforts in this area continue and we encourage all eBay sellers to maintain up to date and accurate information on their business location and VAT status. All sellers should display their VAT registration number with their business information, and we will be following up with sellers that are not currently doing so.
We take the VAT and tax compliance of our sellers extremely seriously. All non-UK sellers with inventory located in the UK should be UK VAT registered, and we cooperate with HMRC in all cases to help them enforce the law where there is evidence of underpayment of taxes. Where we identify sellers that are not compliant, we take action to suspend their accounts.
At the request of HMRC, we provide information on any sellers, UK or overseas, where there is evidence of underpayment of taxes. We are verifying all information in the report submitted including the sellers you specifically mentioned. We will take appropriate action if we find evidence of wrongdoing