The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped e-commerce landscapes in dramatic but often positive ways. In the UK, retail e-commerce saw a massive boost, particularly in categories like food and household goods. In 2020 alone, the market saw 46.5% year-over-year growth, and that trend has only continued. By 2025, experts expect e-commerce to account for at least half of all textile and clothing sales in the UK.
With figures like these, it is clear that despite the complications of Brexit the UK is still a thriving market that e-commerce sellers can hardly ignore. But there are special considerations in completing the VAT registration process for the UK. HMRC will likely request additional information during registration, so make sure you are ready.
HMRC additional requests
The UK tax authority HMRC has a vested interest in making sure that anyone who registers for VAT in the UK intends to trade or is currently trading within the country. To help ascertain this, they require completion of a specific questionnaire and submission of comprehensive documentary evidence to support your application. They may refuse your UK VAT number application if these criteria are not met.
Some examples of the evidence required include:
- HMRC’s special questionnaire
- Welcome email from Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) in the UK
- Screenshots from your Seller Central of things like your FBA shipment page
- A Goods Purchase invoice
- Logistics contract
- Amazon sales data report
Please note that this list is not exhaustive.
When you first bring goods into the UK, a 90-day period begins within which you must register for VAT in the UK. You must also provide Amazon with your valid UK VAT number within this time frame. If you do not complete these critical steps, your account may be blocked and need to be reinstated.
How can AVASK help?
While these requirements and penalties for noncompliance may seem daunting, AVASK can help make the process easy and seamless. We are able to handle VAT registration on your behalf and specialise in setting up Amazon sellers for success regardless of the countries they sell from or into.
We represent over 8,000 e-commerce clients in 50 countries and our team of experts speak over 20 languages. Additionally, AVASK offers every client a dedicated point of contact throughout the registration process, so you always know where things stand and have someone you can speak to who understands your situation. We believe every business requires a bespoke, hands-on solution and are proud to be able to deliver this.
If you have any questions about the UK VAT registration process, or you are ready to proceed, simply contact us and we can get started today. You can also read more about HMRC additional requests on Amazon’s website.