Good news for me.
For decades I have been mailing stamps to UK (and Scandinavian etc) colectors who by buying off me avoid the 17.5% VAT that a local dealer generally charges them.
Stamps in a red/white/blue It'l Reg'd envelope NEVER seem to get stopped by HM Customs as they assume as they are 'small' they contain only papers or photos etc. and nothing of value
On a $1000 Roo etc that is a clear $250 saving for a Scandinavian and now $200 for a Brit.
Might not be such good news as you think. Standard rate VAT is not chargeable if the trader uses the 'Collectibles' Margin Scheme.
HM Revenue & Customs wrote:
You have to charge VAT when you sell taxable goods. If there was no VAT on your purchase invoice*, you will have to pay HMRC the VAT you charged on your selling price, but you won't have any VAT to claim back on your purchase price.
Margin schemes can save you money if you sell certain types of goods on which there was no VAT for you to reclaim, because they duplicate the effect of standard VAT accounting. In other words, they allow you to pay VAT on the value you added to the goods, rather than on their full selling price.
* You can use a margin scheme if you trade in eligible goods that you've bought under eligible circumstances, for example from businesses or individuals who are not registered for VAT, or from businesses selling under the scheme.
So a UK trader buying from a collector would not pay VAT on the purchase, and would only have to charge the customer VAT on his mark-up. And he can still reclaim VAT on your purchases for other business expenses, such as overheads, repairs, parts or accessories - so that element is not included in his overheads. The dealer's price for a Â£1000 'roo would at most be Â£150 (prices here are quoted VAT-inclusive), and could be much less if a margin scheme is used.
Now there is of necessity a certain amount of record keeping to do here, but it might be worthwhile. It's all above my level, but having worked with VAT as part of my job, I do understand the principles.
Philatelics GB stamps info: http://www.norphil.co.uk
- also /catalog for our ecommerce site, blog.norphil.co.uk, shop.norphil.co.uk and Ian_norvic on twitter