How VAT Is Collected on Physical Items Sold on Etsy

VAT stands for value-added tax. It's a tax based on the consumption of goods and services that is commonly found in the EU and select other regions of the world.

VAT is also known as JCT, GST, SST, or QST in some countries.

VAT may be charged to buyers on their purchases (“VAT on Items Sold on Etsy”) as well as to eligible sellers on their paid seller fees ("VAT on seller fees”).

Learn how VAT works on digital items.

Learn how VAT works on seller fees.

This article contains general information. You should always contact your local tax authority or tax advisor for more information.

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Am I required to charge VAT on my physical items?

For information on VAT requirements in your location, please consult your local tax authority or a licensed professional.

If you are a VAT registered seller, you may be required to charge VAT on the items that you sell on the Etsy platform.

Learn how to add your VAT ID for your Etsy shop.

For sellers in the EU

For EU countries, the applicable VAT rate depends on two things:

  • the nature of what is for sale and 
  • the country in which the supply of goods and services is taxable with VAT

When supplying goods and services in the EU, the applicable VAT rates can be checked on the European Commission's website.

Etsy displays copy next to an item’s price to buyers located outside the US and Canada that indicates that the price includes VAT (if applicable). If you are required to charge VAT on the items you sell, it is your responsibility to include applicable VAT in your listing prices on Etsy.

Learn more about how information about applicable tax is displayed to buyers on Etsy.

Am I required to charge VAT on my digital items?

If you sell digital items to buyers in certain countries Etsy is required to charge VAT no matter where your shop is located. If you sell an item to a buyer in a country where Etsy isn’t required to charge VAT on digital items, you may be responsible to collect it. We recommend that you speak with a professional about the tax laws in your location.

Learn more about how VAT works for digital items.

What should a seller invoice to a buyer look like?

Some businesses in the EU may need to provide an invoice when supplying goods or services. For further details on the invoice and these requirements, please find more information on the European Commission's website.

Additionally, we recommend that you check whether your invoices comply with the local invoice requirements.

Selling to Australian buyers from overseas

As of July 1, 2018, some orders shipped to Etsy customers in Australia are subject to Goods & Sales Tax (GST). Etsy will collect a 10% GST on orders if each of the following applies:

  • Seller is located outside Australia.
  • The package is being shipped to a buyer in Australia.
  • The total value of the package is less than or equal to $1,000 AUD.

Etsy will automatically include the tax in the buyer’s total. The buyer will pay the tax at checkout, and Etsy will be responsible for remitting it to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

For orders placed through PayPal, Etsy will send the GST collected to the seller as a part of the payment. Etsy will add the tax to the seller’s Etsy statement so that we can remit the tax to Australian authorities.

GST does not apply if the total value of the package is more than $1,000 AUD or if the transaction is between buyers and sellers both located in Australia. Sellers might need to add additional information to the customs forms on these packages. Learn more.

Selling to German buyers

German VAT regulations changed in 2018 and 2019, and Etsy will now be required to collect German VAT certificates from some members who sell to buyers in Germany. If you are an Etsy seller who is affected by this requirement, you can email your VAT certificate to Etsy at vat-certificate@etsy.com.

Register for VAT in Germany

Do I need to register for VAT in Germany?

Etsy can’t provide tax advice. If you are not certain whether or not you are affected by the new regulations we recommend that you speak to a tax advisor with experience in German VAT for more information.

Selling to UK buyers from overseas

If you’re a seller located outside of the United Kingdom (UK) but you sell to UK buyers, you might be considered an “overseas seller”. Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) defines an “overseas seller” as a seller who:

  • sells goods already in the UK at the point of sale to UK consumers
  • is based outside the EU and sells goods to a UK consumer, and then imports them into the UK
  • sells goods located in another EU member state to UK consumers

To learn more on this please click here.

UK Sellers: Making Tax Digital rules

The HMRC requires most UK VAT registered businesses with a taxable turnover above £85,000 must follow the rules for Making Tax Digital for VAT. These rules include:

  • Keeping digital VAT records
  • Signing up for Making Tax Digital for VAT
  • Using software compatible for Making Tax Digital to submit VAT returns

Learn more about Making Tax Digital.

Etsy can’t provide tax advice. We recommend that you speak to a tax advisor with experience in UK VAT or reach out to HMRC directly for more information.

 

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