What Address on a VAT Invoice?

Discussion in 'Accounts & Finance' started by EmbraFella, Sep 4, 2017.

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  1. EmbraFella

    EmbraFella UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    I recently purchased something from ebay. It cost about a fiver. On closer examination of the listing, I discovered the item came from Jersey from a seller with a Hong Kong address and a UK VAT number. Out of curiosity I looked it up and found that they are registered via the HMRC Non Established Taxable Persons Unit. For the devilment, I contacted the seller and asked for a VAT invoice.

    Now what address should I expect on the paperwork to make it a valid VAT invoice? HMRC's? Their warehouse in Jersey? Or their HK admin base?

    I'm just curious.
     
    Posted: Sep 4, 2017 By: EmbraFella Member since: Sep 4, 2017
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  2. Scalloway

    Scalloway UKBF Legend Free Member

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    As long as they quote a valid VAT number I don't think it would matter.
     
    Posted: Sep 4, 2017 By: Scalloway Member since: Jun 6, 2010
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  3. lesvatadvice

    lesvatadvice UKBF Regular Free Member

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    Good question.
    VAT regulations refer to 'address,' without further qualification. I would expect to see the trading address rather than the admin address, but would not object to the latter.
     
    Posted: Sep 4, 2017 By: lesvatadvice Member since: Jul 7, 2011
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  4. nick34785

    nick34785 UKBF Regular Free Member

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    Isn't Jersey outside VAT area ? So why would they provide a vat invoice ?
     
    Posted: Sep 4, 2017 By: nick34785 Member since: May 25, 2014
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  5. STDFR33

    STDFR33 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    Because they have a UK VAT registration.
     
    Posted: Sep 4, 2017 By: STDFR33 Member since: Aug 7, 2016
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  6. Scalloway

    Scalloway UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Posted: Sep 4, 2017 By: Scalloway Member since: Jun 6, 2010
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  7. EmbraFella

    EmbraFella UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Thanks. I'm really hoping they send me one just to satisfy my curiosity.

    However my usual experience of dealing with problematic UK ebay traders, who turn out to be from China, is that they'll string me along until it's too late to leave feedback or raise a case against them, then they go silent.
     
    Posted: Sep 4, 2017 By: EmbraFella Member since: Sep 4, 2017
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  8. nick34785

    nick34785 UKBF Regular Free Member

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    "If you’re outside the EU and you sell goods to customers in the UK then this not classed as distance selling for VAT purposes. The Channel Islands are not part of the EU.

    Your customers should be aware that they may have to pay UK import VAT on the goods when they arrive in the UK. They may also have to pay duty."

    So do you have to provide a vat invoice when the sale is out of scope of vat ?
     
    Posted: Sep 5, 2017 By: nick34785 Member since: May 25, 2014
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  9. nick34785

    nick34785 UKBF Regular Free Member

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    I mean specifically a foreign based seller selling a product out of scope of UK VAT, do they need to provide a UK VAT invoice?
     
    Posted: Sep 5, 2017 By: nick34785 Member since: May 25, 2014
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  10. lesvatadvice

    lesvatadvice UKBF Regular Free Member

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    A VAT invoice is an EU requirement, where a taxable supply is made by a taxable person. So, if the supplier is outside the EU, or is not in business, there is no obligation to provide such a document.
    But, anybody in business will provide some document to evidence the sale. That is simply good practice.
     
    Posted: Sep 5, 2017 By: lesvatadvice Member since: Jul 7, 2011
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  11. Gecko001

    Gecko001 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    This looks like dropshipping by someone in HK using a supplier in the Channel Islands.

    I used to buy low-value car parts on Ebay for DIY repairs on my own car. Many of the suppliers were based in the Channel Islands as they were exploiting a loophole where no import duty was charged by the UK on items costing less than, I think, £15 from the Channel Islands. I believe this loophole has been closed. I am a bit surprised that these companies in the Channel Islands are still trading as their competitive advantage would surely have disappeared when import duty was added.
     
    Posted: Sep 5, 2017 By: Gecko001 Member since: Apr 21, 2011
    #11
  12. nick34785

    nick34785 UKBF Regular Free Member

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    Ok, so I was just referring to the OP's question, and pointing out that he shouldn't expect a VAT invoice, as the sale was out of the scope of VAT. Still he should provide a regular invoice (from HK) on request.
    The seller might have other stock in the UK and will use it'ss VAT number for those sales.

    The OP was probably importing the product himself (maybe without realising that), it might not have been stopped by customs because of the low value.
     
    Posted: Sep 5, 2017 By: nick34785 Member since: May 25, 2014
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  13. EmbraFella

    EmbraFella UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    Oooo these VAT regs are a minefield.

    So, I bought something effectively from Jersey, imported it without realising, and there was no VAT on the purchase because Jersey is outside of the EU. And if I do get a VAT invoice, it'll say VAT at 0%. OK.

    So what advantage is there to the seller to be VAT registered? I could understand it (sort of) if they were buying things from the UK, but as far as I can see, they sell physically fairly small low valued items from China to the UK via a stock pile in Jersey which gives them the advantage of speedy delivery.

    I told you I was curious
     
    Posted: Sep 5, 2017 By: EmbraFella Member since: Sep 4, 2017
    #13
  14. Gecko001

    Gecko001 UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    Did the item you received have a green Custom's sticker on the package, when you received it in the post? They usually do if from Channel Islands or outside the EU.
     
    Posted: Sep 5, 2017 By: Gecko001 Member since: Apr 21, 2011
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  15. EmbraFella

    EmbraFella UKBF Newcomer Free Member

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    By chance the packaging was still in the bin - no green sticker, but a returns address in Bristol, and after a little detective work, the address is a Chinese ecommerce fulfillment centre. Of course, that's not to say it was the dispatch address, but it looks likely.

    So, I reckon it now seems that the item was sent from within the UK, not Jersey, and my VAT invoice should read 20% right?
     
    Posted: Sep 5, 2017 By: EmbraFella Member since: Sep 4, 2017
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