If your customer is a non-UK business in the EU and is registered for VAT in their own country, they are allowed to quote their VAT registration number to you in order to be exempted from tax. If you can’t accommodate this, those customers are likely to look elsewhere. New regulations on how this works came in 1 January 2010, so it’s worth confirming the details with HMRC http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/managing/international/index.htm It’s not the same when handling US buyers. US states might want to charge tax on sales into their area, but it’s their responsibility to levy this tax. You don’t have to charge this ’use tax’ which is between the buyer and the state where they live. As a UK business you can sell into the US tax-free – but you should make your customers aware that they could be charged tax on the goods when they are imported.
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