Retail round-up on June 22, 2016: Amazon UK to remove Chinese traders and Lady Tina Green to face questions from MPs

Amazon UK to remove Chinese traders without UK VAT numbers from its business

Amazon is conducting reviews of sellers’ VAT compliance in the UK to guard against the HMRC’s new tax evasion powers. It is understood that the etailer has asked Chinese sellers to provide their VAT numbers by the end of the month.

Recently it has been observed that small and overseas firms are using Amazon and other sites to sell to online shoppers in the UK. Large numbers, including many from China are not charging VAT. This is the reason they have been able to reach the “bestseller” rankings, dominating some of the most prevalent listings on Amazon.

The HMRC has stated that VAT evasion is a “very big issue”, estimated to cost up to £1.5bn a year in lost tax.

MPs ask Lady Tina Green to provide information on offshore companies

MPs investigating the collapse of BHS have asked Lady Green, wife of Sir Philip Green, to provide details of the family’s retail empire, The Guardian reported.

Iain Wright, the chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, said: “During the hearing, a whole array of further questions have been raised about how a big high street name with 11,000 staff was sold for £1 to someone with no experience of retail.

“The evidence so far points to a complex and very opaque web of privately-owned family businesses which helped make the deal possible. These complicated arrangements make it very difficult to trace where all the funds have gone.

“We are keen to follow the money and look forward to Lady Green, in her capacity as owner and ultimate beneficiary of these companies, writing to us to explain some of these arrangements and to set out what income her businesses have received from BHS.”