International VAT for online retailers

Amazon Global Selling

If you are trying to sell goods into the UK or Europe via the internet, navigating the VAT rules can be very complicated. Luckily, specialist online retailing consultants AVASK are on hand to guide you...

As a business, you must charge your clients the right amount of VAT, and pay the right amount of VAT due to HMRC. But VAT is the most complex and onerous tax regime imposed on business. As a judge famously said: "...beyond the everyday world lies the world of VAT, a kind of fiscal theme park in which factual and legal realities are suspended or inverted".

When you are dealing with overseas countries with their multiple VAT rates and regimes, and ever-changing regulations, life can be even more complex. Many businesses inadvertently underpay or overpay VAT, leading to further difficulties.

AVASK Accounting can help you avoid any problems. Our highly experienced compliance team already deals with hundreds of e-commerce sellers and vendors from countries including the USA, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia, as well as here in the UK.

Furthermore, we unite the provision of international VAT compliance services with indirect tax consultancy focused on identifying cost savings and creating business efficiencies.

For business wanting to expand to Europe, each country has highly detailed requirements, penalty systems and interest charges for infringement and are subject to constant changes, potentially making them difficult for business to follow. Registering for local VAT outside the UK can be challenging, especially when dealing with foreign languages. AVASK has partners in Germany, France, Belgium, Spain and Italy who will help you in dealing with VAT issues in those countries.

We work with all types of organisations that have cross border VAT dealings, large and small. Your business is in safe hands with us.

For businesses only VAT registered in the UK we submit VAT returns on monthly, quarterly or yearly basis and we will constantly review your business as it grows.

Useful international VAT information

During the past few years there has been an explosion in internet selling for non EU businesses, known as distance selling.

The EU saw an opportunity to create a special regime to simplify the administrative burden for these businesses and encourage them to sell across Europe using national VAT thresholds. This means they do not need to register for VAT straightaway if they are already registered in one EU member state – registration is only required once thresholds have been met.

Professional advice must be sought as VAT laws change all the time and as each country in Europe has its own thresholds and VAT rules.

EU VAT registration thresholds for non-resident businesses are NIL, but there are major exceptions to this rule. Please contact us

We are always happy to assist you with VAT registration, VAT planning, administration, reconciliations and completing VAT returns.

We are constantly running promotions with Amazon – please contact our team so that they can provide you with the best fees.

Europe VAT rates:

Standard VAT rate: 20 %

Reduced VAT rates: 5% property renovations

Reduced VAT rates: 0% Children’s clothing, books, foodstuffs, passenger transport, medical and pharmaceuticals

Standard VAT rate: 19%

Reduced VAT rates: 7% foodstuffs, books, medical, passenger transport, newspapers, admission to cultural and entertainment events, hotels

Standard VAT rate: 20%

Reduced VAT rates: 10% pharmaceuticals, passenger transport, admission to cultural sporting and entertainment events, hotels, accommodation, restaurants

Reduced VAT rates: 5.5% medical, foodstuffs, ebooks, books

Reduced VAT rates: 2.1% newspapers, pharmaceuticals

Standard VAT rate: 21%

Reduced VAT rates: 10% medical, pharmaceuticals, transport of passengers, admission to cultural sporting and entertainment events

Reduced VAT rates: 4% foodstuffs, newspapers

Standard VAT rate: 21% (Jan 1996)

Reduced VAT rates: 12% restaurants

Reduced VAT rates: 6% foodstuffs, books, water, pharmaceuticals, medical, books, newspapers, cultural and entertainment events, hotels

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Registered Office: 5 Kew Road, Parkshot House, Richmond TW9 2PR | Registered in England with company no.08334523

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