Do I need to register for VAT with the UK and EU if I am based in the USA? [relating to brexit 2021]

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Hello everyone,

I'm a new shopify store owner based in California, USA and will be opening my online store soon.  I will be doing print-on-demand/dropshipping t-shirts with printful.  I have not made any sales yet and expect low sales numbers in the beginning.  

I've read a lot about brexit and how it affects merchants, but I must admit a lot of the information flew over my head.  I'm a bit worried that I may not understand it clearly and if I need to change any tax settings in my shopify store.  I was also considering not selling to customers in the UK if it makes my life easier. 

So, if I'm selling t-shirts online with printful as my dropshipper (they have fulfillment centers worldwide including the EU) and I am based in California, USA, do I need to register for VAT with the UK (or EU)?  It says on the internet that if we sell any goods at or below £135 (approx $180), we must register for VAT.  Is this true?  How should I proceed?  Any advice would be appreciated.  I don't have too much funds to seek a tax professional so I'm hoping to get some information here. 

Thank you.     

Reply 1 (1)

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We are located in California as well and can chat with you today about VAT. Happy to assist.

Two of our clients use Printful and fulfill in Latvia. You need to be careful about the VAT rules before you start shipping. Call us today after lunch and we can chat about all the rules and let you know what we think 310-841-0672.

Generally for the UK:

If your sale is below £135 GBP:
As of January 1, 2021 all imports are subject to 20% UK VAT. There is no longer a VAT exemption for “Low Value Consignment Stock” relief, so your U.S. company needs to start charging VAT to your UK private consumers. Yes that is right, for any product priced £1-£135 GBP you need to add 20% UK VAT. This means a non-UK resident seller must add 20% VAT at the point of sale on their website checkout. For example, if you are selling something for $10 you need to add $2 VAT and thereby the total charge is $12 at checkout. The $2 collected in VAT needs to be reported and paid into HMRC. Charging VAT in the UK – legally requires a UK VAT registration. Your team at is happy to assist with VAT registration, reporting and filing materials.

Talk soon