HMRC have advised that over 4,600 overseas businesses have been issued with joint and several liability notices for not paying the right amount of VAT on online marketplace sales in the past 2 years.

Under measures introduced in 2016, HMRC can issue Joint and several liability (JSL) notices when it identifies online marketplace providers who are not meeting their VAT obligations.

  • The online marketplace provider normally has 30 days from the date of the notice to stop the seller offering goods on its marketplace, or face being assessed for the sellers VAT.

HMRC say the thousands of JSLs issued since 2016 have resulted in over £200m of extra VAT being declared, and an additional 58,000 overseas businesses registering for UK VAT, which is an increase of over 3500% from 2015/16.

In April 2018 HMRC published a cooperation agreement which marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Fruugo, Wolf & Badger, Etsy, ASOS, and Flubit have already signed, agreeing to

  • Provide data to HMRC.
  • Educate sellers on obligations.
  • Respond to evidence of non-compliance.

Links to our guides:

Online marketplaces: joint and several liability 
This guide looks at when HMRC can issue a JSL notice and what is required of the online marketplace provider.