Amazon seller europe - verification
I have an Amazon seller account and have used it a handful of times to sell stuff I don't want any more. It's easier than eBay and saves me dealing with the hurt that is eBay/Paypal.
In the last month or so they've been demanding I verify my identity otherwise I'll no longer be able to sell through Amazon any more. I'm a private individual (not a business or sole trader) so this seemed overkill and it's hardly like I "turn over" much (£40 this year and before that, nothing since 2008).
The usual bogeyman of "New EU rules on identity" were quietly cited in emails/FAQs.
I looked at the verification process and although it demanded a VAT number I managed to get past that step without entering one (I'm not a trader so no VAT number). Then it wanted to verify my bank account with a small payment like Paypal do - fair enough but they've paid money in to it before. Then it wanted my passport details and a bank statement or utility bill. You what???
I can understand checking the identity of traders but demanding (and verifying) passport details from private individuals when Amazon already have my home address, bank account + Credit card details is overkill. Anyway the latter two have already verified my identity and they've been registered with Amazon for years.
Someone mentioned to me this is to do with their Luxembourg tax shenanigans. If they can prove the income is generated by someone in a particular country it helps their tax position (in ways I can only imagine) as opposed to just paying tax at a blanket rate on their entire income in Europe. I've not seen any articles or investigation about this - apologies if I've missed a suitable story.
Considering the usual (and justified) vociferous comments about Amazon's tax free MO I'm surprised this seems to have slipped under the radar.