UK to extend the scope of joint & several VAT liability for online marketplaces

30 November 2017

As announced in the October 2017 Autumn budget, from April 2018 legislation will be introduced that will extend the scope of the existing joint and several liability rules. This is to be able to hold online marketplaces (such as eBay, Amazon, Buy.com, Sears.com, etc.) jointly and severally liable for:

  • Any future VAT that a UK business selling goods via the online marketplace fails to account for, once they have been notified by HMRC
  • Any VAT that an overseas business selling goods via the online marketplace fails to account for where that online market place knew, or should have known, that the business should be VAT registered in the UK.


The UK government also announced that it would consider the introduction of a split payment system for e-commerce purchases, which would require the VAT element of any purchase to be paid directly to the UK tax authorities.

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