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As one of the biggest online marketplace platforms in the world, Amazon can be a powerful opportunity for online sellers to get their products in front of customers. In this article we explain what your options are if you’re considering becoming an Amazon seller, and what this means for paying tax.

Do I have to pay to sell things on Amazon?

Yes, Amazon do collect fees from sellers, although the exact charging structure varies. As a starting point you’ll need to choose a selling plan, with two options to choose from:

  • Individual: You won’t pay a subscription fee, but you will pay 75p each time you sell an item (so you’ll only be charged if you sell something)
  • Professional: You’ll pay a flat subscription fee of £25 per month, no matter how many items you sell

If you expect to sell more than 35 items every month, then you may find it more cost effective to register for the Professional plan and take advantage of the flat subscription fee.

Amazon charges additional fees on top of the selling plan charges, so you might also need to pay both referral and closing fees if they apply. They might also deduct VAT from some of your sales – such as cross-border sales.

What are Amazon referral fees?

These are a bit like paying for membership to a club. The amount you pay in referral fees depends on several factors, such as the category your products fall under, and which Amazon marketplace you’re selling through. Amazon publish a full list of referral fees on their dedicated page.

What are closing fees on Amazon?

Amazon charge sellers an additional fee of 50p per item on the sale of media products, such as video games, books, DVDs and games consoles.
 

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Do I have to register as a business to sell on Amazon?

Not necessarily, but you may need to register for tax depending on how much you earn from selling online with Amazon (which we’ll explain next). If you are a registered business, then you’ll need to supply all this information to Amazon when you sign up to become a seller.

Will I need to pay tax if I’m an Amazon seller?

The trading allowance means individuals can earn up to a total of £1,000 of ‘miscellaneous’ income (for instance, from becoming self-employed or from property) in a tax year, before reporting this to HMRC. You’re entitled to the allowance alongside other types of income, even if you also earn money from something else – such as working for an employer.

You’ll only get the allowance once per year though! So, you won’t receive a separate allowance if you sell on other platforms, such as Etsy.

It’s also worth keeping the Digital Platform Reporting Rules in mind. Amazon (and other online selling platforms) may share your information with HMRC if, in a year, you:

  • Make more than 30 sales
  • Earn more than €2,000

HMRC will collate information they receive from different sources – so don’t get caught out! If you earn more than the trading allowance, you’ll need to pay tax – even if it’s just a side-hustle alongside other work.

You might also need to register your business for VAT if your taxable turnover is more than the £90,000 registration threshold. Amazon might also ask you to confirm your VAT status.

Can I claim Amazon seller fees as an expense?

Yes, you can! Self-employed Amazon sellers in the UK pay tax on their profits, not the total amount they earn, so you can claim tax relief on your allowable expenses by deducting them from your earnings. Other allowable expenses you might be able to claim for as an Amazon seller include:

  • Marketing costs
  • Shipping charges
  • Transaction fees
  • Photography equipment
  • Software subscriptions and licences, such as photo editing software

This list is by no means exhaustive so check with your accountant if you’re not sure – rather than potentially missing out on allowable expense claims!

 
Learn more about our online accounting services for businesses. Call 020 3355 4047 to chat to the team, and get an instant online quote.

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

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