VAT

edited 12 January 2021 at 7:06PM in Consumer Rights
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ArtnicoArtnico Forumite
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edited 12 January 2021 at 7:06PM in Consumer Rights
I bought something from Germany through an English website worth £350. When it was delivered the courier company charged me 20% VAT plus an extra charge. Is this correct? Thanks 
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  • brisbris Forumite
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    Yes..........
  • Aylesbury_DuckAylesbury_Duck Forumite
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    As the Dutch say: Welcome to the Brexit, sir.  Sorry.
  • bhjmbhjm Forumite
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    yep, welcome to Brexit describes it very well
  • davidmcndavidmcn Forumite
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    Depends what you mean by "buying something from Germany via an English website". But if what is actually happening is you're importing from Germany (and not buying from a UK retailer who has imported their stock) then it sounds accurate enough. 
  • SandtreeSandtree Forumite
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    Artnico said:
    I bought something from Germany through an English website worth £350. When it was delivered the courier company charged me 20% VAT plus an extra charge. Is this correct? Thanks 
    Assuming you dont live in Germany and you've asked for it to be delivered to the UK then absolutely; we are not in the EU and so you have to pay UK tax when you bring something into the UK. 

    If they are doing things correctly they should have sold it net of the German equivalent of VAT (which is currently 16% or 19% depending on when the sale was) as it was being exported but small merchants etc are often not great at realising these things. 
  • edited 13 January 2021 at 10:57AM
    NearlyoldNearlyold Forumite
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    edited 13 January 2021 at 10:57AM
    Yes if this is all post 31/12/20 it seems correct, goods purchased by consumers from outside the UK up to the value of £135 have the UK VAT charged & collected by the exporter (who then remits it to HMRC), for anything over £135 the VAT (plus any duties) is chargeable on the goods & postage costs when the goods enter the UK and payable by the importer (ie you in this case). The Courier has handled the import process for you and has charged you for this service hence the "extra charge". 

    However as per Sandtree's post above you should check your invoice from the German Supplier to make sure they have not charged you German VAT, if they have you'll need to take this up with them.
  • Sandtree said:
    Artnico said:
    I bought something from Germany through an English website worth £350. When it was delivered the courier company charged me 20% VAT plus an extra charge. Is this correct? Thanks 
    Assuming you dont live in Germany and you've asked for it to be delivered to the UK then absolutely; we are not in the EU and so you have to pay UK tax when you bring something into the UK. 

    If they are doing things correctly they should have sold it net of the German equivalent of VAT (which is currently 16% or 19% depending on when the sale was) as it was being exported but small merchants etc are often not great at realising these things. 
    The shops at airports used to want to see your boarding pass so they could determine whether you were leaving the EU. If you was then the goods would be zero rated, but you'd still pay the same price. 

    I may be incorrect but I don't think there is any obligation to knock the VAT off when exporting, at least here in the UK.
  • SandtreeSandtree Forumite
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    Sandtree said:
    Artnico said:
    I bought something from Germany through an English website worth £350. When it was delivered the courier company charged me 20% VAT plus an extra charge. Is this correct? Thanks 
    Assuming you dont live in Germany and you've asked for it to be delivered to the UK then absolutely; we are not in the EU and so you have to pay UK tax when you bring something into the UK. 

    If they are doing things correctly they should have sold it net of the German equivalent of VAT (which is currently 16% or 19% depending on when the sale was) as it was being exported but small merchants etc are often not great at realising these things. 
    The shops at airports used to want to see your boarding pass so they could determine whether you were leaving the EU. If you was then the goods would be zero rated, but you'd still pay the same price. 

    I may be incorrect but I don't think there is any obligation to knock the VAT off when exporting, at least here in the UK.
    On the basis that they are posting it to an overseas location there is no need to "see a boarding card" etc. They could choose to charge overseas customers outside the EU more on a net basis but I suspect this is rarer still than companies that charge VAT on export items or correctly not applying VAT.

    There is no obligation to not charge VAT on goods sold for export as long as you pass the tax you say your charging to the vat man. The law says when you have to, if you want to generate additional tax for HMRC or equivalents they will never say no. Clearly issues occur when you state you are charging VAT but aren't then passing the monies to HMRC.
  • NearlyoldNearlyold Forumite
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    Sandtree said:
    Sandtree said:
    Artnico said:
    I bought something from Germany through an English website worth £350. When it was delivered the courier company charged me 20% VAT plus an extra charge. Is this correct? Thanks 
    Assuming you dont live in Germany and you've asked for it to be delivered to the UK then absolutely; we are not in the EU and so you have to pay UK tax when you bring something into the UK. 

    If they are doing things correctly they should have sold it net of the German equivalent of VAT (which is currently 16% or 19% depending on when the sale was) as it was being exported but small merchants etc are often not great at realising these things. 
    The shops at airports used to want to see your boarding pass so they could determine whether you were leaving the EU. If you was then the goods would be zero rated, but you'd still pay the same price. 

    I may be incorrect but I don't think there is any obligation to knock the VAT off when exporting, at least here in the UK.
    On the basis that they are posting it to an overseas location there is no need to "see a boarding card" etc. They could choose to charge overseas customers outside the EU more on a net basis but I suspect this is rarer still than companies that charge VAT on export items or correctly not applying VAT.

    There is no obligation to not charge VAT on goods sold for export as long as you pass the tax you say your charging to the vat man. The law says when you have to, if you want to generate additional tax for HMRC or equivalents they will never say no. Clearly issues occur when you state you are charging VAT but aren't then passing the monies to HMRC.
    Co-incidentally I've just had a marketing e-mail from a German motorcycle accessories company I've bought a few items from in the past, on the landing page of their website there is an eye catching banner "-19% VAT for deliveries to NON EU countries! VAT will be deducted after entering the address!"  Though it doesn't say what they do for orders up to £135
  • SandtreeSandtree Forumite
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    Nearlyold said:
    Though it doesn't say what they do for orders up to £135
    Well thats a whole nother stupid situation... lets see how long that lasts before HMRC realize how stupid and unenforceable an idea it is. 

    * I've not read any detailed analysis on the matter but knee jerk reaction is how does HMRC enforce against SME companies in other legal jurisdictions who only have modest sales into the UK... most wont even know they are supposed to be doing anything. 
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