Several weeks ago I wrote about the VAT abuse that is undoubtedly happening as a result of sales being made through the Amazon and eBay web sites and suggested Amazon and eBay may be liable for the losses arising.
It's good to note that due to the tireless efforts of VA campaigner Richard Allen this issue is getting the attention it deserves. As the Guardian has noted:
Top tax officials are exploring whether Amazon and eBay can be forced to foot the bill for ballooning VAT fraud associated with an army of small overseas sellers who are rapidly coming to dominate sales of many popular items on Britain’s leading shopping websites.
I strongly recommend reading the Guardian article. What I would add are three things.
First, it seems that the legal precedent to pursue these companies exists: it would be extraordinary not to pursue it.
Second, this will only happen if pressure is brought to bear on HMRC.
Third, if you do have evidence please share it. I am happy to be a conduit for any such evidence.
The losses on this trading are massive - trading standards officers have told me they think it could be £2 billion a year. This is money that would make a real difference in this country. It's worth looking for the evidence that brings this illegal trade to an end.