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Google Shopping (Was Google Merchant Center) Forum

    
Merchants cheating with VAT (UK)
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PCInk




msg:4339899
 10:30 am on Jul 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google Merchant Center states that UK listings must include VAT in their prices.

Too many competitors are advertising their prices excluding VAT, making their prices look much cheaper than ours even though they are VAT registered and add VAT to the products.

Where do report this to and will Google do anything about it?

 

IanTurner




msg:4339901
 10:44 am on Jul 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

This has been going on a long time and is a really annoying issue for those who try to do things the right way and for the best interests of the company in the long term.

Those who don't play by the rules are getting away with murder for long periods of time and effectively Google's inability to police this policy is damaging our businesses.

engine




msg:4339914
 11:29 am on Jul 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

This situation could be made slightly woolly by the variation in the rules relating to how they sell.

If you're a retailer, you have to price including VAT.
If you sell to business, you don't have to price with VAT, although it will be charged at the checkout.
If you sell to consumers and to business you can quote a VAT exclusive price, and a VAT included price.

If Google is not policing its own rules, what hope is there that sellers will follow the rules.

I would have thought that a suitable kick in the rear might be possible by reporting it to the UK VAT man.
Of course, Google's UK operations relate to Ireland, however, you're talking about the UK. I would have thought that EU laws should apply.

Obviously, google's own policies should comply, too.

IanTurner




msg:4339925
 11:58 am on Jul 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google's policy Specifically requires you to add VAT to the price if you are a UK merchant.

The variation in the UK law from a selling to business and selling to consumers perspective is not metioned in Google's policy.

Reporting to the VAT man is probably not going to work for us as the offending companies will just use the UK law requirements - which are different to the Google policy requirements.

PCInk




msg:4341170
 10:25 am on Jul 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

I can't see how they are breaking any tax rules since they still appear to be collecting it and (presumably) paying it too so reporting it to the VAT Man won't work.

It might be that they are not breaking any Advertising Standards Agency rules, since they may mainly target business purchasers.

So it seems to fall down to Google. There is no mandatory field for vat in the UK feed but Google do state prices must include VAT.

So is there no way to contact the Merchant Center staff since this is becoming more widespread? I can't see any way in my account.

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