Amazon’s not the only business to have established a subsidiary in Jersey to avoid UK tax (e.g. VAT) on DVDs and suchlike; Tesco and Boots quickly followed suit. And it appears that in Jersey, offshore really does mean offshore: some stuff just sits in a ship docked just long enough to be naturalized before heading off to the UK. More than £200m has been knocked off sales as a result: mostly DVDs, CDs and electricals and there’s little doubt this is a loophole that’s going to be closed soon. As long as any single order is less than £18, it shouldn’t attract any UK tax or duty, but best read Amazon’s guide here. (There’s no VAT on books in the UK anyway, so they’re not included.)
Interestingly, each of the big three Jersey tax and VAT free retailers has approached it differently. Tesco is most upfront: here’s a direct link to them, but Boots has simply done a deal with TheHut.com, which was already trading from the island. Boots entertainment is little more than TheHut with a different logo.
Meanwhile Amazon’s effort is harder to find. Their new arm doesn’t have its own website, but occasionally appears under the ‘Ready to buy?’ box on Amazon.co.uk. To buy from Amazon Jersey: follow this link to Amazon.co.uk and find what you want in the usual way. If it’s available tax-free, an Amazon Jersey price will appear under the Ready to buy? box on the left hand side.
Amazon Jersey: Tax Free Shopping……Amazon DVD Rental