Chancellor acts to stem £1.2bn yearly tax loss by making sites like eBay and Amazon jointly liable with sellers for due payments

Online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay will be forced to police their own websites to prevent billions of pounds of VAT fraud, under a renewed government crackdown on the scam.

The move represents the second effort in as many years to close down an estimated £1.2bn-a-year tax fraud and follows a Guardian investigation as well as criticism of HM Revenue & Customs for being slow to act.

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