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Electronic Commerce: VAT

Question for HM Treasury

UIN HL2455, tabled on 24 October 2017

To ask Her Majesty's Government what amount of VAT was not recovered from sellers who were served with notices in the last 12 months.

Answered on

7 November 2017

In the 12 months since the joint and several liability provisions came into force, HMRC has issued 500 notices to online marketplaces through which overseas businesses sell.

In all of these cases, the marketplaces have removed the sellers from their platforms, preventing further losses of VAT through fraudulent sales.

Joint and several liability notices remain in force until the sellers become fully compliant with their VAT obligations, which includes payment of all previously owed taxes, plus interest and penalties.

To the end of August 2017, HMRC had raised assessments for unpaid VAT on those sellers totalling £43.6m, with a further £71m due to be assessed on sellers still under investigation.

The VAT paid by overseas businesses has increased from £6m in 2015 to £27m in 2016, and it is expected to continue to rise significantly in 2017.

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