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Fri July 29 2016 02:17:42

Seller Says eBay Errs in VAT Billing

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I am a non-business eBay seller residing in Greece. All eBay fees are charged to me by eBay Europe S.a.r.l. based in Luxembourg.

Consequently all eBay fees charged to me included Luxembourg VAT (17%) as also indicated on all their invoices ("The above amounts include legal VAT").

This means that a 15 $ fee charge for example is analyzed as follows : 12.82 net eBay fee + 17% VAT = 15. 

As of July 2016, I notice that eBay started applying on their fees to sellers the new EU rule by which VAT is charged at the rate of the country of residence of the customer (in my case Greece, 24%).


In the example above they charge 24% VAT on 15, instead of on 12.82. 

This results to a compound "VAT" collection of roughly 45% on their net fees (in the case of Greek sellers, I suppose similar overcharges apply to other EU country member sellers).

I tried to discuss this with their support teams both on and but - as expected - in vain.

Is this a convenient way for eBay to increase their fee income from non-business EU sellers?

I understand this to be a very serious matter and would appreciate your opinion.
Thank you.

Comments (4) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Seller Says eBay Errs in VAT Billing   Seller Says eBay Errs in VAT Billing

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jul 29 08:24:36 2016

The EU has much more stringent Tax Authorities and Enforcement Authorities than the USA for example.  I would report this ''overcharging'' to the proper EU Tax Authority ASAP as they will not take it lightly as this is basically tax fraud.  Fortunately for you, EU Authorities have more ''teeth'' in this regard than the USA and will actually do something about this issue.

Seller Says eBay Errs in VAT Billing   Seller Says eBay Errs in VAT Billing

by: bpm This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jul 31 14:28:32 2016

I haven't read the article (yet); unusually, I'm commenting first. The comment is - this 'error' puts money in Ebay's pocket, right? I've never come across an 'error' on Ebay that failed to put money in Ebay's pocket somehow.

Now, on with the reading....

Seller Says eBay Errs in VAT Billing   Seller Says eBay Errs in VAT Billing

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Jul 31 16:02:44 2016


They have existed.  You may not of experienced them, but they have happened.  Sometimes it is because their shipping calculator is messing up and charging too little for shipping, sometimes it is on a promotion that isn't programmed correctly, etc.  While most certainly they more often make an error that results in additional fees to them, it isn't completely unheard of for it to go the other direction.

As for what the OP is bringing to our attention.  I have no experience with this problem, so I won't comment on it.  Whatever I might say would be guesses.

Seller Says eBay Errs in VAT Billing   Seller Says eBay Errs in VAT Billing

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 1 15:06:53 2016

Ebay collects on the total including shipping fees here in the US. Perhaps because VAT is part of the shipping fees for Europe the tax is added in as part of the postage or it could be Ebay is charged VAT as well. By the way Europe has outrageous postage costs, but I imagine that limits imports which helps keep the local economy in business.  

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