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Can someone help me understand this please?

(15 Posts)
ShatFic Thu 03-Jan-19 16:10:45

I've received an email from ebay today stating that I need to provide them with a VAT number and they've cancelled my current listings confused.
Is this normal? I'm not a business seller, I just sell our old clothes/toys and have made about £700 in 10 years.

Ta1kinPeace Thu 03-Jan-19 16:11:51

Ignore the email
log into your account and check

ShatFic Thu 03-Jan-19 16:17:29

I have. They cancelled all my listings.
I've called them and the man said I have to call HMRC and get a VAT number.

Ta1kinPeace Thu 03-Jan-19 16:25:26

On what grounds?

You cannot get a UK VAT number unless you are a registered business turning over more than £85000 a year

It is not a requirement of UK tax law to be VAT registered for businesses.

Are they accusing you of being a business?
If you are selling chattels you do not have to register with HMRC as a business.

Sounds like they misunderstand MTD and Brexit !

ShatFic Thu 03-Jan-19 16:30:15

From what I understood he said HMRC have told them to do it, along with 600 other ebay sellers. I told him I'm clearly not a business looking at my previous sales, but he said it's about my "future sales".

Thank you for your reply. I'm not sure where to go from here.

neddle Thu 03-Jan-19 16:34:51

Actually, you can register for VAT voluntarily if your turnover is less than the threshold.
You do need to be trading though, even if that is as a sole trader.

Ta1kinPeace Thu 03-Jan-19 16:36:10

Ebay are talking absolute and utter cobblers.
Ask them which page of the HMRC manuals they are referring to.

If HMRC think you should be VAT registered, HMRC will contact you directly.

You can only register in advance of significant turnover if you sign the box on the form to confirm that you will hit the £85,000 within the next month.

If you have the name of the Ebay staffer, call them back, demand to speak to their manager

and let them know that TiP is back on the ebay boards correcting their errors wink

Ta1kinPeace Thu 03-Jan-19 16:37:38

Actually, you can register for VAT voluntarily if your turnover is less than the threshold.
Yes but the new form - that is ready for MTD - has some pretty strong assurances at the end

Folks selling chattels on ebay should NOT be VAT registered

ShatFic Thu 03-Jan-19 16:50:12

They told me to go to which I did and I selected "I'm not vat registered".
I then called them back asking for my listings to be reinstated. They've said they will submit an appeal against the restriction but can't give me a timescale, and that they put the restriction in place because hmrc told them to!
I'm absolutely fuming. They're fobbing me off and I don't know why.

Ta1kinPeace Thu 03-Jan-19 16:54:43

I've read that page
Ebay are lying
I deal with HMRC nearly every day. If HMRC want you to be VAT registered they will not do it this way.

Keep pushing at them .....

ShatFic Thu 03-Jan-19 16:58:43

Thank you. Do you think I should contact HMRC? Ebay are saying it might help my appeal if HMRC put it in writing that I don't need a vat number. That sounds ridiculous to me.

Ta1kinPeace Thu 03-Jan-19 17:08:27

Probably no harm in it.
Call the VAT registration helpline, give them your Ebay ID to look at your seller history and when they stop laughing, get them to put Ebay back under their rock smile

ShatFic Thu 03-Jan-19 17:41:46

I called HMRC and they told me exactly what you did and didn't seem overly interested.
So I called ebay back and asked to speak to a manager. I was put through to the Trust & Protection Team or something.
My account was hacked in October but nothing was listed or bought, so I thought that was the end of it. But they told me today that the hackers linked my account to a company in China, which flagged it up as a VAT issue. I need to wait 48 hours for an outcome to the appeal against the restriction, but at least it makes sense now.
Thanks so much for your advice!

Ta1kinPeace Thu 03-Jan-19 17:47:11

Ah, that makes a lot more sense.
The Chinese location scammers will be using accounts like yours to get around the new EU VAT rules and the UK MTD rules that start in April

At least now you have given HMRC the heads up about it as well.

Good luck getting your listings reinstated.

neddle Mon 07-Jan-19 00:57:51


Yes but the new form - that is ready for MTD - has some pretty strong assurances at the end

Could you link to that please so I can read up on it?

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