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Advice on VAT

VAT Charges for Online Marketplace | VAT Advice for Selling Online | VAT Help Bristol | VAT Advice Online
VAT Charges for Online Marketplace 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

VAT Charges for Online Marketplace

More and more people are setting up their own businesses as a result of COVID-19, whether it be because of redundancy or just taking a fresh look at life following lockdown and deciding to make a change.

When these businesses start out though they only have a small client base, so for these vendors the quickest route to get their goods or services to a larger market can be via a third-party online marketplace such as Etsy or Amazon.

Whilst this is an attractive and seemingly simple way to reach new customers, there are some considerations that need to be taken into account when selling in this way, such as commission fees, transaction charges and VAT charges. Things to be aware of include:

  • VAT is payable on the full price of the product or service, not the net amount after fees have been paid to the online marketplace.
  • If the online marketplace is based outside of the UK, as is often the case, a UK business that is VAT registered must apply the reverse charge on their VAT return.
  • If the sales are to EU based customers, as of the 31st December 2020 it is important to remember that the transitional deal ends and VAT will be charged at the rate of the customer’s country where applicable.
  • Sales to UK customers will be at standard rate.
  • Sales to customers outside of the EU are not liable for VAT.
  • Where a business is not VAT registered, any payments to overseas suppliers are treated as taxable sales.

The rules can seem somewhat complicated so if you are unsure about how they apply to your business it is important to seek advice from and accountant who will be able to clarify what VAT payments are due.

If you have any questions or need some assistance then please call us on 01173 700 079 or e-mail hello@steppingstonesaccountancy.co.uk

VAT Oddities | UK VAT Rules | VAT Advice Bristol
VAT Oddities 758 513 Stepping Stones Accountancy

VAT Oddities

VAT rules are known for their complexities and the headaches that they can cause businesses around the UK. But it’s the peculiarities of the system that can have people scratching their heads, particularly in the world of food!

Recently, the case of Nesquik flavoured milk has been highlighted. Bizarrely chocolate flavoured milk is already VAT exempt, however, strawberry and banana are classed as standard rated and so 20% VAT is applied. Nesquik tried, and lost, to argue that all three flavours should be exempt

Fancy a biscuit with your milkshake? Depending on whether or not it has chocolate on can make all the difference when it comes to VAT. A plain biscuit, traditionally a zero-rated product, when coated in chocolate, a standard rated item, suddenly becomes a luxury item and has 20% VAT added.

Sounds fairly straight forward? Think again. If the chocolate is included inside the biscuit, in the case of chocolate chip cookies, it is back to being zero rated. This is also the case where the chocolate is sandwiched between two biscuits.

Think that is peculiar? Spare a thought for the poor gingerbread man. If he just has two chocolate eyes there is no VAT charged, but as soon as he starts to put on any clothing made from chocolate, such as trousers or a nice smart bow tie, he suddenly has VAT added.

And don’t even mention Jaffa Cakes….. McVities have very cleverly argued that they are classed as a cake not a biscuit and so no VAT is not applied despite being coated in chocolate.

VAT rules – they really take the biscuit!

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