Insurance · 4 July 2017

New Amazon VAT service promises to simplify European trading for small exporters

An extreme close-up of a keyboard, focused on the shift key which now says “add to cart” and has a blue icon of a shopping cart.
Amazon has guaranteed Marketplace users will spend just a few minutes each month on VAT returns

A new Amazon VAT service for small business owners has been launched, with a pledge to make it easier for online sellers to move goods between other European countries.

Available to all its Marketplace users for €400 per year, the Amazon VAT service will enable smaller exporters to complete all consumer tax filings as required by the relevant country through a centralised system. The fee covers monthly, quarterly and yearly VAT submissions.

Once registered, all Amazon channel transactions are automatically processed into a single report, while invoices appear on the user’s primary EU marketplace account. Amazon has guaranteed VAT returns will be filed in “just a few minutes per month”.

The Amazon VAT service, in collaboration with tax compliance firm Avalara, delivers VAT calculations across a select number of European countries, including Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Poland and Czech Republic.

“Amazon is always looking at ways of improving the support offered to sellers to help them grow their business,” said Francois Saugier, vice president of Amazon’s seller services, upon launch of the service.

“The launch of VAT Services on Amazon is an exciting next step to help small businesses quickly and easily sell abroad and manage VAT obligations.”

Amazon breaks down its VAT offering into three stages – register with each country that requires VAT collection, update the prepopulated product tax file provided by Amazon, and then submit information monthly. Amazon then returns a breakdown of where VAT is due, and how much is owed.

Promising a personalised experience, Amazon will adjust requirements based on the individual business information and supporting documentation provided by sellers.

Additional assistance offered through the Amazon VAT service gives subscribers notifications for any data errors and consolidates VAT data to the tax agent of the individual for preparation of personal filings.

Amazon bills the service as “transparent and cost-effective”, lifting some of the administrative burden of selling overseas.

Smaller businesses have benefitted from Amazon Marketplace as a platform to export globally in a low-risk way. Meanwhile, the retailer’s SME Growth Tracker recently found that founders using ecommerce were more likely to forecast higher revenue and jobs growth over the next year.

Meet two founders who revealed everything a small supplier needs to know about selling on AmazonFresh

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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