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Paying tax on eBay purchases

Many countries and jurisdictions around the world apply some type of tax on consumer purchases, including items bought on eBay. Whether the tax is included in the listing price, added at checkout or charged at the border depends on the order price, the item's location, and your delivery address.

If additional tax is applicable on your eBay purchase, you'll see this indicated on the listing page and the tax amount will be shown on the checkout page before you pay.

Items delivered to the UK

Value Added Tax (VAT) generally applies to purchases by UK consumers, and prices on eBay.co.uk are shown inclusive of VAT.

How VAT is calculated

VAT is calculated on the order total including item price, shipping and any additional costs such as insurance.

The standard UK VAT rate is 20%, although reduced rates of 5% and 0% may apply to certain items as defined by the UK legislation. More information about UK VAT on gov.uk: VAT rates.

Goods shipped to the UK from abroad

As of 1 January 2021, there is no longer a VAT exemption for small consignments up to £15.

Instead, eBay is required to collect VAT on certain orders delivered to UK addresses:

  • Orders up to £135 sent from outside the UK
  • Orders where the item is located in the UK, but the seller is not a UK seller

For higher value items, VAT and duties are also likely to apply. However, VAT on purchases valued at over £135 will be payable directly to the UK customs authorities by the buyer.

How VAT appears at checkout

You'll see the VAT included in your order total at checkout, and you can view and download a tax invoice from the Order details page in your Purchase history.

Unless otherwise specified, eBay will apply discounts to the total order price, after VAT has been calculated.

For more information about buying from overseas sellers, see our article about international purchases and postage.

More information can be found at the following sites:

Items delivered to European Union countries

Value Added Tax (VAT) generally applies to purchases by EU consumers. The VAT rate applied is set by the country to which the package is shipped and depends on the items sold.

How VAT is calculated

VAT is calculated on the order total including item price, shipping and any additional costs such as insurance.

Unless otherwise specified, eBay will apply discounts to the total order price, after VAT has been calculated.

Goods shipping between EU countries

If the item is being sent from one EU country to another EU country, customs duty is not applied but buyers will still need to pay VAT. As of 1 July 2021, EU-based sellers with sales to other EU countries greater than EUR 10,000 need to collect VAT based on the delivery country of the goods.

How VAT appears at checkout

If the item is located in the EU, the purchase price is VAT-inclusive, where applicable.

In cases where eBay has collected VAT, you'll see the VAT included in your order total at checkout, and you can view and download a tax invoice from the Order details page in your Purchase history.

Goods shipped to EU from countries or sellers outside the EU

If the item is being sent from outside the EU, the recipient may need to pay VAT and customs duty. This will either be collected by eBay or by the carrier on behalf of the relevant customs/tax authorities.

As of 1 July 2021, there is no longer a VAT exemption for small consignments up to EUR 22 and eBay will be required to collect VAT on certain orders delivered to EU addresses:

  • Orders up to a value of EUR 150 imported into the EU and sold to consumers (for shipments to Metropolitan France and Monaco, see next point)
  • Orders of any value shipped from outside of the EU to consumer buyers in France or Monaco
  • For shipments of any value where the seller is a non-EU business, but the goods are already within the EU

In cases where eBay is not responsible for collecting VAT, the amount of VAT and customs duty will be determined upon entry into the destination country. As a result, buyers may need to pay additional charges that are not included in the total price displayed at checkout such as VAT, duty and an import processing fee from the carrier.

More information can be found on Buying goods online coming from a non-European Union country page.

Items delivered to other countries

If you have an order delivered to an address outside of the UK or EU, local consumer tax and/or customs duty may apply. Online marketplaces such as eBay may be responsible for collecting the tax, or the parcel's recipient may need to pay these as part of clearing the parcel through customs.

While we've included basic information for some countries here, it's only intended as a guide and is by no means exhaustive. For more information, please check the local tax and customs regulations.

Items delivered to the US – sales tax

Tax laws vary between states, and sales tax may be required to be collected by the seller, collected by eBay, or paid directly by the buyer. If your delivery address is in one of the US states where either the seller or eBay is required to charge sales tax, the tax will be included in the order total at checkout.

If the item is being sent from outside the US, the recipient may have to pay duty and customs processing fees. However, items under $100 which are gifts will generally be cleared without any additional charges.

 

Items delivered to Australia or New Zealand – Goods and Services Tax (GST)

eBay is required to collect GST on orders up to AU $1,000 imported into Australia and on orders up to NZ $1,000 imported into New Zealand. You'll see the GST included in your order total at checkout.

If GST was collected, you can view and download a tax invoice from the Order details page in your Purchase history.

GST on purchases valued at over AU $1,000 and NZ $1,000 is generally collected at the Australian or New Zealand border. The recipient may need to pay GST as part of clearing the package through customs.

 

Items delivered to Norway – Value Added Tax on E-commerce (VOEC)

eBay is required to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) on items up to 3000 NOK imported into Norway. If the sale is within this threshold, the VAT is calculated on the order total (including shipping and any additional costs such as insurance). You'll see the VAT included in your order total at checkout.

eBay does not collect VAT on items with a value above 3000 NOK. However, VAT and customs duties will still be collected at the Norwegian border. In practice, the recipient pays this to the courier as part of clearing the package through customs.

Refunded purchases

If you paid tax on your purchase through eBay and you get a refund for your order, you'll also get a refund for the proportionate amount of tax. For example, if you receive a full refund, you'll get the entire tax back. If you receive a 50% partial refund, you'll get 50% of the tax back. Any refunds processed outside eBay's systems are not eligible for a tax refund.

If you paid import taxes or duty as part of clearing your parcel through customs but you then returned the item, please contact the customs authority regarding a refund of the charges.

Request a VAT refund

To request a VAT refund on a completed order, please login and upload proof of overpayment.

Helpful links

If eBay collects tax on your eBay purchase, you'll see this indicated on the listing page and the tax amount will be shown on the checkout page, before you pay.

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