Amazon and eBay to be liable for VAT fraud on their German sites

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The FT has reported that:

The German government is to make internet platforms such as eBay and Amazon liable for sellers on their sites who evade paying sales tax, in a move that has been sharply criticised by digital industry groups. “We will not tolerate retailers on online marketplaces — especially those based abroad who are not within reach of the German tax authorities — doing business without paying sales tax,” said Ulrike Demmer, the government spokeswoman. She said the bill was designed to “protect honest businessmen from competitive disadvantages”.

The only obvious response is to say that this is long overdue, and it is time everyone else does the same thing to protect their own domestic suppliers and fair competition.