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The following advice is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you're unclear about the way that any of this information applies to you, please seek advice from an independent tax advisor.

I'm a business. Do I have to be VAT registered?

This depends on a few factors which are specific to your business. Read Should I be Registered for VAT? on the HMRC website to work out whether your business should be registered for VAT.

Do I have to charge VAT on the items I sell?

HMRC's guide to VAT will also help you to find out whether you need to charge VAT on the items you sell. You may also find Business Link's Duty and VAT liability calculation tool useful for working out your tax liability when selling internationally.

Remember that if you're VAT-registered and you've determined that an item you've listed on eBay qualifies for VAT, you must clearly state the amount or percentage of VAT that will be charged in the listing. If you didn't make it clear before the buyer agreed to purchase the item or service that VAT would be charged, it's against eBay rules to charge VAT. Instead, you'll be responsible for paying any VAT owed on the item.

The VAT rate may go up or down. Our VAT help page details your latest legal requirements.

Note: Falsification of information to evade payment of VAT may result in civil fines and criminal prosecution. eBay cooperates with the police and other law enforcement agencies in cases involving potential falsification of information to evade payment of VAT.

Do I have to pay VAT on my listing fees?

Since July 1st 2003 eBay has been legally obliged to charge VAT on seller fees to sellers who reside, have a permanent address or are established in the European Union.

As an EU-based seller, your contractual partner is eBay Europe, S.à r.l., based in Luxembourg. You are therefore required to pay VAT at the Luxembourg rate of 15% on your eBay selling fees unless you qualify for an exemption on VAT on your seller fees. Sellers with a valid VAT registration number may apply for an exemption from VAT on their seller fees.

To apply for an exemption, please register your VAT ID with eBay. Please note that you can't claim back any VAT you paid on your seller fees before you registered your VAT ID with eBay.

What about other taxes?
Do I have to pay Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax on my eBay profits?

The amount and type of tax you should pay on your eBay earnings depends on how much you earn and how you earn it:

  • You can find information to help you work out your tax obligations on the HM Revenue & Customs site
  • Business Link provides a general guide to issues relating to tax here
  • We also recommend that you consult an independent tax advisor