Feeds

Dot-coms' VAT-swerve hurts small biz

Ecommerce giants not paying tax

3 Big data security analytics techniques

The Forum of Private Business, which represents small and medium-sized businesses, is calling on the Treasury to close a loophole which allows ecommerce firms based in the Channel Islands to sell goods VAT-free to UK consumers.

It cites the example of Tesco.com, based in Jersey, which is selling the latest Oasis dirge for £8.07 rather than a recomended retail price of £15.99. Tesco can do this because it doesn't have to pay, or charge, VAT on goods despatched from the Channel Islands. Items worth less than £18 can be imported by individuals into the UK without paying VAT.

The FPB wants the Treasury to immediately lower this threshold from €22 to €10 (about £7). The association believes this would make the business unprofitable. But it is also calling on the Treasury to ask the EC for special dispensation to close the loophole completely.

John Healey, finance secretary at the Treasury, told a select committee in February that the loophole was already costing the country £80m a year and this was expected to rise to £200m in two years. CDs, DVDs and contact lenses are among the most popular items sold.

A Treasury spokesperson told the Reg: "Goods imported into the UK are generally chargeable with VAT. The rules in this area are complex and vary depending on the nature of the supply and the value of the supply and we keep the matter closely under review."

The FPB says Amazon, Asda, Boots, HMV and Woolies are also all selling goods from Jersey. FPB members say they cannot compete in a market where their distributors charge them more for a CD than they can buy it from Tesco's website.

The National Audit Office is preparing a report on the subject, called VAT on e-commerce, which will be published early next year, more details here. More from the FPB here.®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.