The change follows an overhaul of the company’s corporate structure, meaning fees previously paid to a Luxembourg subsidiary are now processed through eBay’s UK business.
Invoices that arrived at the end of August included the 20% tax that is paid on eBay Final Value fees, not turnover.
Dealers who are VAT registered will be able to reclaim the VAT via the next quarterly VAT return.
However, sellers who are unable to reclaim VAT face a cost increase in real terms.
The change is likely to have most impact on small business traders. For example, a company turning over £50,000 a year on eBay will currently be subject to 10% ‘Final Value Fees’ of £5000 a year. Now, with Final Value Fees subject to VAT, the firm will have to pay an extra £1000.
“Whether this change will affect art and antiques dealers depends on how much they’re selling on eBay,” said Simon Young, a partner at accountants Milton Avis. “It seems small dealers will have extra charges to pay and need to consider whether to pass this increase onto buyers in the form of higher prices.”
UK VAT is already charged on seller fees for non-business sellers and this will not change.
The fee alteration follows a change in the company’s corporate structure, following the split from PayPal in 2015 and a crackdown by HMRC on tax evasion by overseas traders that sell goods in the UK without paying VAT.