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VAT changes post Brexit

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Trevor Crossman 128/10/2020 10:28:16
152 forum posts
18 photos

While idly looking at my browser news pages I saw the link below and don't know if this has been mentioned in any previous thread, but it looks like many of the items that we buy for our swarf generating hobby are set up for an increase in price and probably choice in 2021!


Ady128/10/2020 11:10:57
4345 forum posts
675 photos

Nothing new really

They use VAT to throttle small businesses

If a UK person sells 1 dollar of digital goods to an overseas person they have to register for VAT etc etc

So thousands of talented UK programmers can only do limited stuff through big corporate third parties like app stores

An entire generation of talented programmers with the global market an internet click away... reduced to zero because of some government tw..ts

Edited By Ady1 on 28/10/2020 11:24:49

Trevor Crossman 128/10/2020 11:44:50
152 forum posts
18 photos

Yes, but surely the new bit is that after Jan1 2021 the foreign seller will be required to be a tax collector for HMRC, so many suppliers especially the small ones will not do so, especially as they'll have to pay for the "privilege"! This will affect our access to many specialist items which certainly aren't made in UK.

Stuart Smith 528/10/2020 13:07:41
191 forum posts
26 photos

This will only affect items bought direct from a foreign seller. If you buy through an ‘online market place’ such as eBay, they will be responsible.

If you buy from a uk supplier, they will be responsible for vat as now.

It will also remove the cost and problems with courier ‘handling charges’ for direct imports. See recent thread **LINK**

Surely this can only be good for uk businesses when trying to compete with cheap imports.

Clive Foster28/10/2020 13:24:51
2675 forum posts
96 photos

Seems an ill thought out and cumbersome method to me.

Given that all low value transactions by individual purchasers will be done by electronic means, whether credit card or transfer, why not just apply the VAT automatically to the purchase. Its effectively exactly the same as the way an online market place will handle things.

Can't see any problem for credit / debit cards as the mechanism for levying such charges already exists in the card administration software. Direct bank transfer might need an extra hoop or two to jump through. Probably not a bad idea to have extra hoops when transferring money directly overseas given the extra opportunities for fraud.

That said I wonder how many folk buy direct from foreign suppliers anyway. Online marketplaces are much easier for all concerned.

Um, does AliBaba count as an online market place?


Vic28/10/2020 15:01:41
2759 forum posts
1 photos

No more cheap stuff direct from China it seems unless they come in as free samples. laugh

Bazyle28/10/2020 21:27:13
5859 forum posts
217 photos

So if you buy your star trek communicator from Will S how do they know you paid the VAT? Do they impound it at Heathrow until proof is presented? Or do they plan to take Will to court in the USA to recover the loot? When did it start costing so much to register fro VAT or is that just foreigners? When I registered a company for VAT back in about 1980 I don't recall paying anything.

DMB28/10/2020 22:34:38
1092 forum posts

Which cabinet minister said there would be any changes? Chancellors job; anyone else is speaking out of turn.

All seems like idle speculation probably by anti brexiteers. Come the big day we will all know for sure if there any changes. I'm happy to wait patiently for the truth.

I dont think there will be any big price rises for any reason as it would go against the promises made and I think they are well aware that their future jobs are riding on it at the next election. 

Edited By DMB on 28/10/2020 22:37:57

Clive Foster28/10/2020 22:46:30
2675 forum posts
96 photos

What DMB said.

Somebody taking half a speculative idea on how to sort VAT, and possibly customs, charges post Brexit and running with it.

Most likely there have been musings about letting overseas companies register for VAT, as British ones are, to actually streamline trade. I'd be unsurprised if there weren't musings about including customs charges too so overseas companies can offer WSIWG pricing with no hidden charges.

I still think that, if it happens at all, it will be done via credit or debit card administration. When you have afully electronic payment chain such things are relatively easy to arrange.

Especially if some genius in the Treasury, Customs & Excise et al has a rush of blood to the head and decides to simplify the heck out of the charges. Well I can dream can't I.


DMB28/10/2020 22:52:32
1092 forum posts

Dont simplify it, make it complicated and keep pen - pushing civil servants in a job and getting their daily exercise walking around the offices with a sheet of paper!

Stuart Smith 529/10/2020 00:44:55
191 forum posts
26 photos

The new rules are on the website:


So not speculation.

I can’t see any mention of a fee to register though.

Clive Foster29/10/2020 01:22:16
2675 forum posts
96 photos

Well found Stuart.

Sounds like the higher ups are taking level playing field, except for customs duties, seriously. Never been a charge for VAT registration so I shall expect that to continue.

On reflection something like this was to be expected to keep trading with Europe essentially same as it was.

Much as VAT used to annoy me back when I was registered I have to admit that with an electronic acconting system its no great issue to deal with.

I'm a little surprised that the press was pretty accurate.


old mart29/10/2020 20:24:58
2908 forum posts
184 photos

Amazon seem to have found a way around every type of tax.

Vic08/12/2020 12:16:00
2759 forum posts
1 photos

It seems eBay will be collecting the VAT next year so we should still be able to buy stuff direct from China at a good price?


Vic01/01/2021 13:34:15
2759 forum posts
1 photos

As the new rules now apply I’ve just had a quick look at eBay. I can’t say I’m very confident about buying stuff from abroad. Prices on some items I looked at remain the same, others have more than doubled since I looked last year. In the main description it says items from abroad may incur additional charges. If you then click on the payment and postage tab it says VAT is included in the listed price. There is mention about final costs somewhere in the small print, whatever that means. I was going to buy a cheap item I want as a test but the price hasn’t changed at all since last year and then I noticed delivery was about 12 weeks. I think I’ll wait and see how other folks get on before buying anything from abroad on eBay. laugh

Adam Harris03/01/2021 21:23:54
497 forum posts
26 photos

If this year I buy a USED machine part from a private individual in Germany through the eBay German site, will I be charged 20% VAT on top of the purchase price and if so how will the 20% VAT be charged?

Steviegtr03/01/2021 23:49:55
2009 forum posts
272 photos

The way i read it the international seller has to charge you the VAT & then send it to the HMRC. How that will work out will be interesting.

Or i have got it wrong, which is ever possible.


SillyOldDuffer04/01/2021 10:22:33
7131 forum posts
1571 photos
Posted by Adam Harris on 03/01/2021 21:23:54:

If this year I buy a USED machine part from a private individual in Germany through the eBay German site, will I be charged 20% VAT on top of the purchase price and if so how will the 20% VAT be charged?

I don't think so. Not seen anything suggesting the VAT position on private individuals has changed. VAT is only charged if a party is registered to pay VAT, so there shouldn't be an issue provided the transaction is genuinely between private individuals. But there's a big difference between me selling a second-hand car privately to the chap next door (no VAT), and a business selling him the same car (VAT charged).

It's never been crystal clear. Scratch the surface and VAT is complicated! There are many ifs, buts, and exceptions. For example, by prior agreement businesses selling second-hand usually only pay VAT on their profit, not on the value of the item. The customer, therefore pays less, except they are still liable to pay full VAT on the value of any service supplied as part of the transaction, like negotiating customs.

Unfortunately the rules aren't straightforward and now the system is changing. (Hence the question.)

Good news, the VAT system isn't aimed at small private deals, so low value parts are unlikely to attract attention provided the value is below the threshold, the service element is small, and there aren't repeat purchases suggesting a commercial operation.

Vic mentioned being nervous of buying abroad via ebay at the moment. Actually this might be a window of opportunity because the government has temporarily suspended VAT & Customs checks as a way of greasing transition from the old set-up to the new. No details of the relaxations available as far as I know. I expect they're still doing spot checks and are keen to apply the new rules as soon as possible. So I'd carry on buying from abroad as normal for the moment, but I'd cover the risk of being whacked with extra charges on delivery. If charged extra by postie, I'd cough up or appeal. If there's no bother, smile...


Michael Gilligan04/01/2021 11:37:50
17833 forum posts
825 photos
Posted by Vic on 08/12/2020 12:16:00:

It seems eBay will be collecting the VAT next year so we should still be able to buy stuff direct from China at a good price?



Be aware that the ‘Best Offer’ screen has the potential to confuse !!




Tony Pratt 104/01/2021 11:51:51
1503 forum posts
7 photos

Just received a good quality lathe toolholder from China for £12.55, I went to re-order another 6 & they have gone up to £17.58 each, the supplier has put the base price up then added 20% 'VAT', hmm, is someone pulling a fast one?


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