VAT registration pending


#1

Hi all,

we are pretty new on Amazon but it doesn’t start too well. I hope so much that someone could help, but I started having real doubts whether I can ever solve our problem. Here is the story:

  1. We are based in the UK, but wanted to sell our products exclusively in Germany. We speak German, so we opened an Amazon Europe account as a sole trader.

  2. All started well, but we didn’t realise that we had to upload tax verification papers. By the time we understood this, our account has been deactivated.

  3. We made some sales on our account before it was deactivated.

  4. We also changed in the meantime from being a sole trader to a Limited.

  5. We uploaded our new shiny Limited VAT registration papers weeks ago.

  6. The site with the upload still says “pending”

  7. We wrote a lot of sellercentral service tickets of which none has been answered, again, in weeks.

  8. What to do? Shall I cancel the existing, deactivated account and start from scratch? Is there any way to speak to a human being at Amazon who can help? It is all very well to offer customer ticket forms, but they also would need answering at one point.

Looking forward to hearing any ideas since we have no idea how to solve this mess.

Thanks!
Susanne


#2

Wow yea you gona face a barrel of issues all can be fixed, unless your storing goods in germany as far as I am aware at the moment you would only need to register for vat if sales were over E100,000 - things are forever changing and VAT is not my strong point so if I am wrong I am sure some one will point it out.
If you have done over that you may have an issue.

The business changing name always seems to get people caught off guard n here but if you change the type in the settings and upload the docs including a letter head stating who is the legal owner etc along with the requested docs this should do the trick - if they need more info they will ask -

Do not cancel account as you will not be able to open another and may get permanently banned.

For each case Amazon have pulled you up on they should have emailed you or you should have received a performance notification you need to address each individually.
Address them the way you have above its crisp its clear and not a bed time story like most seem to write on here lol.


#3

Aside from the changing sole to ltd, which in itself, can take some time to do, you have a few issues.
If your UK based and selling to Germany are you actually vat registered in the UK or Germany?
Are you storing goods in the UK or Germany? If your storing them in Germany, then you need to be registered for German VAT. You may also need to be registered for Polish as they use that centre as well.
If your actually sending from the UK to Germany, is via FBA or yourself? If it’s via FBA, this is going to stop in the near future due to Brexit. Otherwise, you will need to effectively run the EU sites separate to the UK when the change completes.

Don’t however create a second account. This can only be done in very specific circumstances and only if all your accounts are fully verified and trading properly. So trying to close the current account wont work until it’s fully verified and opening a second, will just get closed down and you would still need to get it verified in any case.

You can always escalate your issues to the managing director, if your not getting very far with support.
There is currently no way of getting a phone call from them and to be honest, it’s probably not worth it anyway. I’ve yet to speak to anyone there, that english isn’t their first language.


#4

Hi Peter! First of all, thank you sooo much for coming back to me and for your input!! I will take it step by step and start with changing the name as you explained first of all. I got an email from Amazon by now, telling me that they don’t understand my explanations of my problem. So far to crisp and clear :slight_smile: THANKS for your help!


#5

Hi Neil! First of all, thanks for the detailled explanations! I will start by changing the name (and will try to be patient with this).

  • We are based in the UK and the Limited is also vat registered in the UK.
  • Yes, for better customer service we do have stock in Germany as well as in the UK.
  • Not using FBA at this stage at all
  • Got an email from Amazon directly, they didn’t understand my explanations. So I kinda get what you mean with your comments on first language…

So when you say, if stock in DE than we need to vat register a business in Germany, that means this should be something along the lines of a sole trader or Ltd or Gmbh etc. In other words, opening a second company to the one we have in the UK?

Thanks for the feedback on creating a second account. Won’t do that then…

Thanks for your help!!!
Susanne


#6

Ok, Firstly, if you are actually storing stock in Germany and are not a German resident, then you need to be registered for VAT there. Irrespective of Amazon.
You don’t need to register a company to do that, unless this is something that you particularly want? You just register the UK company for VAT in Germany.
If you are already storing stock there, you need to make this a priority as if you get found out by the authority, then your going to get into trouble.

You might want to consider using FBA anyway in Germany once this is sorted out.
It can be beneficial depending on your circumstances. Generally the buyers prefer it and you tend to get a better price. Along with the postage rates charged tend to be cheaper than your going to get elsewhere. It obviously reduces your storage and staff requirements.

But for now for Amazon, concentrate on getting your company verified first. This does take time, especially with the changes you have made.
You are aware that if you create a case with support about this, they appear to be closed?
This is just support forwarding on to seller performance etc. It’s a bit of a black hole and not very transparent at all.


#7

Storing stock in Germany creates an obligation to be VAT registered, which doesn’t require the creation or registration of a branch or separate company. If the Ltd company has premises or employees in Germany it’s likely that you’ll also need to register a branch of the Ltd in Germany - or start a GmbH owned by the Ltd - or some other legal structure.

Also for selling in Germany there are a few hurdles not experienced in some other countries e.g. packaging law, WEEE law.

As Neil says, focus on getting approval as the Ltd first.


#8

Hi Neil, thanks so much for your help, it is much appreciated!!! I don’t understand the implications of registering VAT in Germany too, fearing to be double taxed. But with your feedback I can now go to our tax adviser, see what he says.

In regards to FBA, it felt pretty expensive when I had a look but will definitely look into it again.

Again, thank you so much.
Susanne


#9

Hi Barry,

thanks a lot for your feedback! No, we don’t have employees or premises, so looks like we just need to VAT register. As you suggests, first of all is changing the legal entity w Amazon. I know about WEEE, not sure about packaging law. Would you have a link for me to read up on this?

Thanks so much.
Susanne


#10

Searching for “verpackungsgesetz” should give you all the info you need. As far as I’m aware you need to pay for the disposal of the packaging that your customers will dispose of, and join the verpackungs register (Zentrale Stelle) with details of the waste disposal company you’re registered with.

The German WEEE requirements are a bit more stringent for manufacturers, importers and retailers than in other countries.


#11

I don’t think the implications are actually that far reaching.
Basically, if you make a sale in Germany, you charge German Vat and in exactly the same way for an English sale.
You simply pay and record the vat for each country. You certainly don’t pay it twice! :smile:

If your not already aware, Amazon do have deals on for VAT registration, so you may find it cheaper to go through them. Though I would suggest that you read up on the various companies as some have worse reputations than others.

FBA isn’t that expensive at all. You just need to make sure that you calculate fees etc properly.
You can literally send a fully tracked parcel (std) for next day delivery for a couple of quid!
Unless you are sending thousands of parcels, you would really struggle to compete with that.


#12

Following on from Neil’s comment. With VAT you charge your customer the VAT on the sale, but you claim back the input VAT. When you send it from the UK to Germany you’d use the reverse charge mechanism instead:

  • Claim back the input VAT in the UK
  • Sell to your German VAT registration as a zero rated supply, with an entry in the EC Sales List.
  • German VAT registration pays the VAT due on the purchase, but immediately claims it back as input VAT.
  • Your German VAT registration charges the customer the relevant amount and pays it to the tax authorities.