Customs Duty + VAT on pre-'50% off sale' cost?
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I recently bought three dresses from a little shop in the US. They're quite pricey dresses (they're beautifully tailored, I have one I bought when I was on holiday a few years back), but they were significantly (over 50%) discounted in a sale, hence why I was able to treat myself. I've recently had the dreaded parcelforce letter demanding payment for customs duty and import VAT, and it is gouging! I've calculated that they've charged me VAT at almost 27%, and customs duty at over 14%. The combined amount is almost half as much again as what I spent on the dresses! I can only assume that what has happened here is that the sender (boutique) has filled in the form with the pre-sale dress price, and this is why I am being charged both duty and VAT at such a punitive rate (or rather, I'm probably being charged both these things at the 'normal' rate, but on an amount that's almost twice as much as what I actually spent). I did a back of the postage stamp calculation (dresses + postage) of what I thought I'd be paying in these charges before buying the dresses, but this is way more than I anticipated - it almost completely negates the sale discount, and I wouldn't have bought them had I known. My question is, do I have a case here to claim back the difference from HM R&C via their claim forms? I can show what I *actually* spent on the dresses, as I have both the itemised receipt from the boutique and the paypal receipt. Will they accept that, or will they say I have to pay the full whack on the pre-sale price of the dresses, even thought this is NOT what the seller charged me for them, and NOT what I paid?