Quite frequently when you buy something online from a company's web-site you see the price and it states that all applicable taxes are included. The company, however, will never disclose to you if they have ever crossed the threshold for sales tax in your country in order to charge you that tax, and possibly it's not even registered for VAT in your country. That's especially true for small online businesses.

In such a case, can the company simply include some average VAT amount in its prices in order to keep the prices fixed and equal for everyone?

And if it happens that the company does not have to charge VAT for a particular buyer due to not exceeded VAT threshold, must it simply state in the receipt "No tax included," or can it include a VAT% anyway and just pocket that amount without even showing their VAT number in the receipt?

  • 5
    "What will a company do" isn't really a question about law. Do you want to ask what must it do? It will pretty much depend on where.
    – Greendrake
    Aug 20, 2021 at 7:12
  • 1
    At least in Germany, the rule is that if invoices list VAT then VAT must be paid by the seller, unless this is a B2B EU sale where reverse-charge applies (VAT must be paid by buyer according to their local rate, this obligation must be noted on the invoice). If VAT is not listed the invoice must state why it is VAT-exempt. Invoices include sufficient metadata for a tax audit to quickly determine whether VAT was properly paid.
    – amon
    Aug 20, 2021 at 11:35
  • Greendrake, obviously I'm asking here about a correct and lawful way of dealing with such situation
    – Alexander
    Aug 20, 2021 at 15:17
  • I've tried to focus this question a bit more on the legal requirements.
    – Ryan M
    Sep 3, 2021 at 20:11


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