Here at Global E-commerce Experts, we are continually asked… ‘do I need a UK/EU tax agent’. For example, many Amazon Sellers are under the impression that they only need to register for a VAT number. Although it is paramount to have a VAT number to sell legally in the EU/UK, it goes beyond just having your VAT number.
Once you are VAT registered you are obligated by the relevant tax authority (HMRC in the UK) to provide quarterly and in some countries such as Germany monthly filings. You will need to know what products should have VAT charges applied, what rate of VAT, and this dependent on whether you are on a flat rate or standard rate scheme. You will need to understand the benefits of both and how they might be best for your business model. Sellers also need to know what items are zero rated, such as books and children’s clothing, but only up to a certain age range, this is just one example.
Sellers will need to be able to understand what VAT they can claim back, and how to calculate what is owe to the relevant tax authority. Questionable VAT filings will most likely result in a tax investigation by the relevant authority.
Here is a list of benefits of GEE’s tax services.
1. Port of entry issues: Recently the UK customs code has changed which has put shipping companies under pressure to find tax representatives that they can work with. We have moreover seen an increase in shipping providers requesting for a Tax Representative to sign a Power of Attorney that authorizes customs clearance of goods entering Europe.
2. UK address and physical presence: Moreover, e-commerce platforms have recently sent out emails to clients stating that they will be giving limited access to the government should they wish to carry out an inquiry into your account. Having a Tax Agent in the UK means that you have a UK address and a specialist dealing with your account.
3. Accurate Tax system and standardized procedure: GEE is able to offer its in-house tax system to download all Amazon sales activity without your interference, this system is accurate and in line with the UK and EU reporting guidelines. Let us know if you would like more information on this service.
4. Communication with the Tax Authorities as well as with your shipping providers: At GEE our compliance fees include communication with the government in the event of any penalty imposed on your account, change of VAT scheme, tracking of VAT refunds as well as lost payments for VAT and any other information that is required from time-to-time, as well as any questions that may arise from the government or yourself. Moreover, we communicate with your shipping company so that we can obtain the necessary shipping invoices and any other VAT-related documents enabling us to file accurate VAT returns without you having to be involved in the process.
5. VAT Schemes and Thresholds: Unlike in the US, in the UK you cannot guarantee that you will be paying the correct amount of VAT without human participation. It is unlikely that any software will monitor and update your European thresholds and your flat/standard rate scheme thresholds in the UK.
6. Fixed fees: At GEE pride ourselves in providing a transparent, cost-effective yet proactive tax service. Our fees are fixed, which means you are completely covered for all UK/EU Tax Investigations for as long as you operate in the EU. Any fees outside our scope of services will be discussed prior to the work carried out.
7. Pro-activeness: Our Team of VAT Advisers are highly proactive and always put our clients first. We take personal interest in each and every client and it is part of our company ethos to provide a service of highest quality and professionalism.
As you can see there is a lot that takes place behind the scenes that contributes to us providing a personalized and accurate VAT tax service. At GEE we are committed in helping e-commerce businesses expand into the UK and EU. If you have any questions about VAT, would like to register for VAT and compliance services, please get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org, our New York office on ++1 (646) 500-8643 or our head office in London on +44 (0) 2039 151 930.