These VAT rules are applicable to artists who reside within the EU (European Union) and the UK only.
Saatchi Art is required to collect VAT on the commission charged (40%) for the service we provide to facilitate the sale of original artworks in the EU and UK. If you are not registered for VAT or have not provided a valid VAT number, we will deduct the VAT amount from your payouts and submit it to the appropriate tax authority.
All EU and UK artists who are VAT registered should provide their valid VAT number on the Artist Account page in Studio to avoid VAT withholding.
Frequently Asked Questions
In what format should I submit my VAT number?
Please submit your VAT number in the following format XX1234567890, where the first two letters are typically your country's ISO-2 code. You may check the required VAT number format for your country here.
The VAT number I provide is invalid, what should I do?
Please ensure that the VAT number you are submitting is in the correct format (typically in this format XX123456789). If you are still seeing an error, you may check your VAT number using these tools:
EU artists may verify their VAT number here.
UK artists may verify their VAT number here.
If your VAT number is not valid, please follow instructions in the validation response from the services above.
Why and when does Saatchi Art need to apply VAT to their commission for UK and EU artists?
Saatchi Art promotes artists' work on its website and, when a buyer is found, provides a number of different services (e.g. payment processing and shipping). For this service, Saatchi Art charges a fee via its commission.
Saatchi Art is VAT registered in the UK and EU. If an artist from the UK or EU selling through Saatchi Art is not VAT registered, Saatchi Art is obliged to charge VAT on the commission and has to remit it to the relevant tax authorities. Therefore, when Saatchi Art charges its commission, Saatchi Art must add the VAT tax on top of the commission amount.
For example: If an artwork is sold by a UK artist for £100 and Saatchi Art is taking a 40% commission, Saatchi Art must charge the non-VAT registered artist £40 + 20% UK VAT for the provision of its services. This means that a total of £40 + £8 VAT is charged to the artist upon sale. While we cannot act as your tax advisor, if you are making substantial sales of art, you should consult with your financial advisor as it may be beneficial for you to register as a business for VAT, which may allow you to recoup some or all of the VAT you pay to suppliers and service providers.
I think I am under the VAT threshold. Why do I have to pay VAT?
Saatchi Art is a marketplace providing you with a service, and by law must collect VAT on the service provided to the UK and EU residents.
Could I be exempt from VAT?
In general, VAT exemption tends to be limited to organizations such as not-for-profits and religious organizations. Please consult with your local tax authority or your financial advisor to know whether you could be exempt. If you are exempt, you are exempt from paying VAT on your commission share (60%); Saatchi Art is still required to collect VAT on the service we provided to you.
What are the benefits of registering for VAT if I am under the threshold?
If you register for VAT and supply Saatchi Art with a verifiable VAT number, Saatchi Art will not charge VAT on the commissions we charge you for our services.
I was charged VAT on previous orders, but I am registered and have provided you with my VAT number. Will Saatchi Art reimburse me for the VAT fees that were applied?
If we collected VAT in this instance, we were not able to validate the VAT number supplied as required by law. Please confirm that the VAT number we have on record is correct and contact our support desk. Thankfully, as a VAT registrant, you should be able to report and recover any VAT we did collect related to our fees charged.
Where can I get more resources about how VAT works in my country?
Every country is different, but we suggest starting with these basic resources for the EU and UK.