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VAT: Special agent! Selling second-hand goods

By Andrew Needham, May 2021

Andrew Needham looks at the VAT advantages of selling second-hand goods as an agent. 

In most cases, businesses dealing in second-hand goods buy the goods or take them as trade-ins from private individuals and then sell them on, using the second-hand margin scheme. Only VAT on the profit margin can be accounted for if the second-hand margin scheme is used. If they use global accounting, even greater VAT savings can be achieved.  

However, all the second-hand margin schemes require special record-keeping to be maintained in the form of a second-hand stock book to record the purchase and sale price of each item along with the profit achieved, which can be administratively burdensome.  

There are other ways of selling second-hand goods that mitigate VAT costs as well as obtaining cost savings and simplifying administration by using a different

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