Customs/Duty/VAT on buying/selling stamps online in UK/EU?

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by RevRed+ »

22028 wrote:
30 Mar 2021 00:30
norvic wrote:
30 Mar 2021 00:07
ebay are adding UK VAT to purchases; and private buyers are as liable as anybody else. It's import VAT not domestic VAT on the original sale; that is what this whole discussion is about.
But in that case it is not VAT but Customs/Import duty.

"Consumers now face UK VAT, rather than local rates, as well as customs duty and courier admin charges.

Online orders up to £135 are now supposed to have the UK’s prevailing VAT rate added at the point of sale by the EU retailer, which has to have registered with HM Revenue & Customs.

Lots of smaller EU-based retailers have decided that the paperwork of collecting UK VAT is not worth the hassle and as a result will no longer supply UK consumers.

Other EU retailers appear to have carried on as before, and have been sending out orders without having deducted the VAT. This has led to couriers turning up on doorsteps demanding the UK buyer pay the VAT owed on the item they are receiving. The rate will be between 0% and 20% depending on the item.

Anyone in the UK receiving a gift from the EU worth more than £39 will now face a bill for import VAT at 20%.

Items below £135 bought through the big online marketplaces such as Amazon will have had UK VAT added and therefore can be delivered in the UK with no extra charges demanded."

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2021/jan/21/eu-website-pur ... ave-to-pay

This is logical. If a consumer buys a product in the UK that originated outside of the UK, the cost that the consumer pays is made up of the initial cost, any import duties, the seller's profit and VAT. If a consumer buys a product from outside the UK directly themselves, then all those charges must be paid accordingly.

The whole point is that a country needs to collect all charges. A business selling goods within the UK must not be undercut by people importing the same product - except for the initial selling price, which may be cheaper abroad. Fair practice.

It is equivalent to a business that passes on all the VAT to government, trying to compete with another business down the road that illegally does not charge VAT to a customer. It would be unfair.
.
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by OldDuffer1 »

.
Yes, but the problem is that apparently eBay is expecting sellers to prove that the are not business sellers and therefore do not have to charge VAT (e.g. collector selling off stamp collection).

Also the VAT is apparently, (or a proportion of it), being passed direct to UK Govt. by eBay- however they are not the vendors and any VAT should only be applied to their selling fees. Surely VAT should be collected by the registered business who then pays this to the appropriate Govt.- having deducted any VAT they have paid etc.

Cross border VAT is apparently now being applied within the EU for distance selling- since different Countries have different rates (must be very complicated!).

Since in my case since the VAT should not have been added, my original question was who do I attempt to get it back from? Border Force is obviously not the answer. Perhaps HMRC?

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by OldDuffer1 »

From UK Govt. site:

"Overview
From 11pm on 31 December 2020, consignments of goods with a value of £135 or less that are outside:

the UK and sold through an online marketplace to customers in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) will have UK supply VAT charged at the point of sale
the UK and EU and sold through an online marketplace to customers in Northern Ireland will have import VAT charged
The £135 limit applies to the value of a total consignment that is imported, not the separate value of individual items that are in a consignment.

Where those goods are sold through an online marketplace, the online marketplace will be liable for the VAT unless the goods are being sold from Northern Ireland to a Northern Ireland customer, where the seller remains liable for VAT.

Online marketplaces will also be liable for the VAT on goods of any value that are located in the UK at the point of sale and sold by an overseas business through an online marketplace.

These rules will not apply to the import of:

consignments of goods containing excise goods - find out more about importing excise goods to the UK from the EU from 1 January 2021
non-commercial goods (for example, gifts) - find out more about tax and customs for gifts sent from abroad
The seller remains liable for VAT on the sale of goods in Northern Ireland sold to customers in Northern Ireland.

These rules will also not apply to consignments of goods from Jersey and Guernsey, if VAT is collected and paid to HMRC under the Import VAT Accounting Scheme.

What an online marketplace is
HMRC’s definition of an online marketplace is a business using a website or mobile phone app (such as a marketplace, platform or portal) to handle the sale of goods to customers which meets all of the following conditions:

in any way sets the terms and conditions on how goods are supplied to the customer
is involved in any way in authorising or facilitating customers’ payments
is involved in the ordering or delivery of the goods

A business will not be classed as an online marketplace if it only provides one of the following services:
processing of payments for the supply of the goods to the customer
listing or advertisement of goods
redirection or transferring of customers to other websites or mobile phone apps where goods are offered for sale, without any further involvement in any sale that might take place on that website or app"
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-and-overseas-goods-sold-to-c ... rketplaces

I would say eBay comes into the second category and so should not be applying VAT at all?

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by norvic »

22028 wrote:
30 Mar 2021 00:30
norvic wrote:
30 Mar 2021 00:07
ebay are adding UK VAT to purchases; and private buyers are as liable as anybody else. It's import VAT not domestic VAT on the original sale; that is what this whole discussion is about.
But in that case it is not VAT but Customs/Import duty.
I don’t know why you in Germany think you know better than we do about what is happening in our country but VAT is payable on (some) imports just as it is in Australia AND WILL BE IN ALL EU COUNTRIES FROM 1 JULY. :twisted:

I suggest you go back to page 1 of this thread, and read the very first posts and stop uttering nonsense.
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Global Administrator »

Global Administrator wrote:
27 Feb 2021 09:57
OldDuffer1 wrote:
27 Feb 2021 00:58

Any thoughts?

Yes. :lol: :lol: :lol:

My first thought is, you have wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much time on your hands, to be even writing to, engaging in ANY way, with Sir Humphrey Appleby, and his army of 20,000 trained Dalek civil servants, over 2 quid, that they clearly have zero intention of handing back! :mrgreen:

And even if they do refund the VAT pennies by some miracle, the 10 quid or whatever collection fee still stands it appears, but Sir Humphrey & Co even made that part, as murky as a British "beach". 8-)

Gotta love Bureaucracy. :shock: :shock:
.

Old Duffer - a question - many wasted hours later wailing to the moon and lodging your complaints with endless Bureaucrats who do not give a toss, have you been refunded your 2 quid yet? I know money is vitally important to Scots, but this is crazy. :lol: :lol: :lol:

OldDuffer1 wrote:
30 Mar 2021 03:07


Since in my case since the VAT should not have been added, my original question was who do I attempt to get it back from? Border Force is obviously not the answer. Perhaps HMRC?
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Global Administrator »

.
RevRed+ wrote:
30 Mar 2021 02:05

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2021/jan/21/eu-website-pur ... ave-to-pay

This is logical. If a consumer buys a product in the UK that originated outside of the UK, the cost that the consumer pays is made up of the initial cost, any import duties, the seller's profit and VAT. If a consumer buys a product from outside the UK directly themselves, then all those charges must be paid accordingly.

The whole point is that a country needs to collect all charges. A business selling goods within the UK must not be undercut by people importing the same product - except for the initial selling price, which may be cheaper abroad. Fair practice.

It is equivalent to a business that passes on all the VAT to government, trying to compete with another business down the road that illegally does not charge VAT to a customer. It would be unfair.
.

Even the Scots will realise this - eventually!

Wasting 100 quid of time and getting raised blood pressure as well, to never get their fair cop 2 quid back is humorous to watch though, I must admit! Writing off letters to Border Force and costing taypayers 50 quid to respond etc.

BUY BRITISH - there is a neat phrase you may have heard before?

YOU are costing all other taxpayers real money with your unwinnable crusade. :idea: :idea:

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Global Administrator »

Derbyboi2 wrote:
30 Mar 2021 00:31
.
I know it is convoluted but on three recent occasions I have expended large sums at auction in both the USA and in Germany.

I have then instructed the auctioneers to send the lots (covered by their own insurance) either to an address in Germany or the USA thus not attracting any import VAT, which would have amounted to several thousand pounds.

I have then had the items couriered to their destination by DHL with a small value put on them relying on my own separate goods in transit insurance.

Similarly when buying at auction or high value ticket on ebay in Australia I have the items sent to an Australian address and then on to me as before.

So far I have been successful in 'avoiding' any incoming taxes.

Yes a lot more of this has been occurring since BREXIT. No 20% VAT gouge and no 10 quid or whatever also screwed off you to collect that 20% VAT! And actually faster too, as you avoid all that Bureaucracy.

Not all collectors feel included to bung an extra 100 quid into Boris pocket, if they choose to buy a 1d black on cover or wrapper for their private collection. It is certainly an antique which in theory makes it VAT exempt anyway correct? Gotta love your wacky Bureaucracy over there. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Also, this technique allows consolidation of many purchases in one sending, saving you a good deal in 4 or 5 lots of separate Registered shipping as these are good for a large 500g. :!: :!:

I use them for covers, entires, and FDC etc, which are LETTERS or DOCUMENTS strictly speaking. :lol:


document
noun [ C ]
/ˈdɑk·jə·mənt/
a paper or set of papers with written or printed information


I suggest your local contact sources some of these from me, as PO no longer sells them, but existing ones work fine, and I bought 100s before they discontinued them. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Thick robust card, good for 500g, and they fly past UK VATMAN every time in my experience, lodgement receipt is given by PO here, and are totally trackable in UK. And unlike Registered, get SIGNED for most times there too. And are a TON faster in this COVID era too. :lol: :lol:



Dec20-AP ITL Express Env 12-20.jpg
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by norvic »

Derbyboi2 wrote:
30 Mar 2021 00:31
I know it is convoluted but on three recent occasions I have expended large sums at auction in both the USA and in Germany. I have then instructed the auctioneers to send the lots (covered by their own insurance) either to an address in Germany or the USA thus not attracting any import VAT, which would have amounted to several thousand pounds.

I have then had the items couriered to their destination by DHL with a small value put on them relying on my own separate goods in transit insurance.

So far I have been successful in 'avoiding' any incoming taxes. Obviously I am hoping that HMRC do not access Stampboards and 'ferret me out'!

Interestingly I have had several lots sent into the UK from Argentina and they have remained un-opened and untaxed.
It's not everybody who can publicly admit to tax evasion and describe how he does it. You know it's illegal, right? It's not tax avoidance, which is "any means to avoid paying tax otherwise due by employing legal means or loopholes."

It's tax evasion because you have deliberately understated, or caused others to understate, the value of your imported goods in order to evade implementation of the law which would require you to pay tax.
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by 60022Mallard »


It's not everybody who can publicly admit to tax evasion and describe how he does it. You know it's illegal, right? It's not tax avoidance, which is "any means to avoid paying tax otherwise due by employing legal means or loopholes."

It's tax evasion because you have deliberately understated, or caused others to understate, the value of your imported goods in order to evade implementation of the law which would require you to pay tax.

Hands up anyone who has never paid that tradesman cash for that little job.

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Global Administrator »

60022Mallard wrote:
31 Mar 2021 00:12

Hands up anyone who has never paid that tradesman cash for that little job.

Rumour is, Norvic's Romanian handyman has left the country today, headed for Bolivia, wearing a false beard. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by 60022Mallard »

Global Administrator wrote:
31 Mar 2021 00:21
60022Mallard wrote:
31 Mar 2021 00:12

Hands up anyone who has never paid that tradesman cash for that little job.

Rumour is, Norvic's Romanian handyman has left the country today, headed for Bolivia, wearing a false beard. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

The major problem is that governments worldwide do not go for simple flat taxes because when requiring more money it is obvious when they raise rates.

Instead they introduce multifarious taxes (on such as insurance premiums) then allowances and exemptions and in the end virtually no one actually understands them apart from those who earn their living advising on means of avoiding (legal) taxes.

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Global Administrator »

60022Mallard wrote:
31 Mar 2021 00:43


Instead they introduce multifarious taxes (on such as insurance premiums) then allowances and exemptions and in the end virtually no one actually understands them apart from those who earn their living advising on means of avoiding (legal) taxes.

Seems so.

We have two ex HM Vatmen folks posting above, who between them, clearly cannot offer any kind of precise Tax rules that apply to UK buyers, paying 100 quid for a stamp, via ebay or a foreign dealer or auction etc etc.

The answer seems to be -

"Somewhere between zero and 30 quid - depending on the phase of the moon, and we cannot be any clearer than that."
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Suppose you have them forwarded to a GB address from a Poste Restante in N. Ireland? ;)

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by blue-within-blue »

"It's tax evasion because you have deliberately understated, or caused others to understate, the value of your imported goods in order to evade implementation of the law which would require you to pay tax."

Absolutely correct. Any action by the sender or recipient to deliberately evade legally due tax or duty is a criminal offence. That's why Ebay's selling practices policy forbids buyers from asking a seller to under-state the value of a shipment, and forbid sellers from putting a falsely low value on the export paperwork or falsely declaring shipments as a gift.

If your item is intercepted, or HMRC obtain other evidence of this evasion, your goods can be confiscated and you will be prosecuted. You will have a criminal record and pay a large fine - far more than the tax saved. And the seller won't return your payment, so as well as having a criminal record, you lose both the money and the goods.

This doesn't apply if there is no intention involved ; if the goods are correctly labelled but happen to pass through the system without triggering the correct charges, neither the sender nor recipient has committed any offence, nor is there any obligation to draw HMRC's attention to the error. Under English law, a criminal offence usually requires actus reus et mens rea - a guilty act AND a guilty mind.

Rob (ex HMRC)

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Derbyboi2 »

.
I am sorry if I did not make my previous post clear.

Case 1 Purchase of stamps from German Auction as favour for friend in Australia.

Goods were shipped from Auctioneer in Germany to onward shipper within Germany. The goods were then shipped via DHL to Australia.

Case 2 Purchase of stamps from Auction in San Francisco. Sold to Australian dealer immediately after auction. Stamps sent to Florida and thence to Australia.

On both occasions the lots did not touch the UK and were of no interest to HMRC. On both occasions I followed the buyer's instructions. It did, of course, 'evade tax' probably on import to Australia, but is this my concern? Had the goods been sent to me in the normal way I would have incurred an extremely large VAT and import duty bill.

If you read one of my earlier posts in this thread I purchased a large lot in an auction in Geneva prior to Brexit and it was not sent until after the 1st January 2021. Although Switzerland are not in the EU I was surprised by the small amount of VAT/Duty which was imposed, which I was quite agreeable to pay.

As to lots coming from Australia certainly the dealers I have business with always put a lower value on the goods as they would lose business otherwise. Am I conspiring with them?

I remember the days of yore when taxation was governed by the Duke of Westminster's case and a person could so organise his tax affairs in such a way as to avoid taxation.

Those good old days are behind us (it was 1970 when i completed my law degree) and the notion of 'evasion' on the one hand and 'avoidance' on the other have become blurred in the public mind and are both treated with moral outrage.

Perhaps I was not clear enough in my first post. I am fully aware of the criminality of evasion and the obloquy heaped on avoidance!
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by blue-within-blue »

"As to lots coming from Australia certainly the dealers I have business with always put a lower value on the goods as they would lose business otherwise. Am I conspiring with them?"

The dealer is certainly committing a criminal offence. If you asked him to do this, or knew he was going to do this and did not stop him, then you too are breaking the law. No excuses - this is evasion, and illegal. If HMRC / Border Force intercept the parcel and find evidence of an understated value, at best you will be charged the proper amount of tax/duty ; but depending on the evidence, they may seize the goods and and prosecute you, as I said previously.

"I remember the days of yore when taxation was governed by the Duke of Westminster's case and a person could so organise his tax affairs in such a way as to avoid taxation. Those good old days are behind us ...and the notion of 'evasion' on the one hand and 'avoidance' on the other have become blurred in the public mind and are both treated with moral outrage.."

Avoidance used to be legal, but the "Westminster Doctrine" was overturned by the Court of Appeal in 1982 (Ramsey v Commissioners of Inland Revenue). If the only purpose of an intermediate step within a deal is to reduce the tax payable, that step can be disregarded by the Court, and tax will be due as if that step was never made.

But even when current, the Westminster Doctrine only involved LEGAL intermediate steps. That's quite different from a dealer mailing $1000 worth of stamps but writing a deliberate lie on the Customs form, falsely stating they are only worth $100. We are not talking about avoidance here : deliberately understating a shipment value is unquestionably evasion, which is and always has been illegal.

Rob (also with an honours degree in law)

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Derbyboi2 »

.
Rob

I do not disagree with your interpretation at all. Even when I was at university the trend was towards striking down the 'closed circular' transactions and moving towards the straight line (where even that is in mainly in jeopardy now, as intent is all). A client of mine had to pay £850,000 back to the revenue a couple of years ago having entered the 'Akido' scheme.

Fortunately she came to an agreement with the Revenue before being named and shamed. Even so she was shown leading counsel's advice prior to entering into the scheme (how easy it was then to get such an opinion), stating that it should be successful, subject to many caveats. (I didn't act for her then).

As to the Australian dealer would I be guilty of evasion if I knew what he was doing but didn't actively encourage or have any hand in the evasive act of making and signing the customs declaration? I think not. Cross country conspiracy actions have little prospect of being mounted unless the amounts concerned have many many noughts after them in any event.
.

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by norvic »

Derbyboi2 wrote:
31 Mar 2021 02:59
.
I am sorry if I did not make my previous post clear.

Case 1 Purchase of stamps from German Auction as favour for friend in Australia.

Goods were shipped from Auctioneer in Germany to onward shipper within Germany. The goods were then shipped via DHL to Australia.

Case 2 Purchase of stamps from Auction in San Francisco. Sold to Australian dealer immediately after auction. Stamps sent to Florida and thence to Australia.

On both occasions the lots did not touch the UK and were of no interest to HMRC. On both occasions I followed the buyer's instructions. It did, of course, 'evade tax' probably on import to Australia, but is this my concern? Had the goods been sent to me in the normal way I would have incurred an extremely large VAT and import duty bill.
-----------8<-------

Perhaps I was not clear enough in my first post. I am fully aware of the criminality of evasion and the obloquy heaped on avoidance!
.
It's nothing to do with not being clear, whilst you didn't write that the goods came to the UK, that IS the subject of the thread, so I think we can be entitled to assume that you were referring to goods coming to the UK*. As it is you wasted our time - or we wasted our own time, because of your off-topic misleading statement. (* The assumption being that "couriered to their destination by DHL" (below) meant in the UK.)
I know it is convoluted but on three recent occasions I have expended large sums at auction in both the USA and in Germany. I have then instructed the auctioneers to send the lots (covered by their own insurance) either to an address in Germany or the USA thus not attracting any import VAT, which would have amounted to several thousand pounds.

I have then had the items couriered to their destination by DHL with a small value put on them relying on my own separate goods in transit insurance.

So far I have been successful in 'avoiding' any incoming taxes. Obviously I am hoping that HMRC do not access Stampboards and 'ferret me out'!
Of course you avoided incoming taxes because the *§$%^% stamps were never 'incoming' to the UK.
Had the goods been sent to me in the normal way
- it's only 'the normal way' if you wanted the goods here in the UK. If you were then only going to export them again there is probably a way to have recouped the VAT, but that aside, if you bid/act as agent and have goods shipped directly to your principal, then clearly there is no UK VAT payable. Doh! :roll:
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by fchd »

I've just had a regular brochure from Danish firm Nordfrim in the post, with he following paragraphs in a section headed "Information about BREXIT"

"Dear customer,

As you are most likely aware, BREXIT took effect from 1 January 2021 - this means that new rules apply for the sales of goods from Denmark (where we are located) into the UK.

The new rules distinguish between orders with a total order value larger then GBP 135 and orders with a total order value lower than GBP 135.

Unfortunately, it is at present not entirely clear how the new rules for orders worth less than GBP 135 should be implemented in practice. Consequently, we have chosen to temporarily only accept orders with a total order value larger than GBP 135. To make this threshold less restricting, we have changed our limit for free shipping to apply for all orders worth more than GBP 135. Please note that customs clearance in the UK for such orders will be the customer's responsibilty.

We continue to monitor the situation closely and will update you once we have new information. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused by this change and hope that we will continue to do business with you."

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by GB 789 »

I really don’t get how inflexible these companies are being. They are going to lose so much trade putting limits on when the savvy business thing to do would be to offer Brits 10% off their orders but with the understanding that there could be a customs/tax fee to pay on receipt.

This 10% on orders up to £135 would likely offset most of any potential import taxes and mean the company wouldn’t need to lose customers.

They are taking the easy option just to not serve British customers based on this lousy excuse, rather than finding innovative ways to get around the problem.

It’s fortunate Britain is so well-placed to offer the vast majority of philatelic items and accessories internally to British collectors so not having to rely on imports.

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by iaincraven »

I really don’t get how inflexible these companies are being.

I don't fully understand the new system, so this could be a misunderstanding. But isn't the problem that to legally import an order under £135 from EU to UK, the UK is now expecting an EU company to register with HMRC for UK VAT? So they would have complete quarterly UK VAT returns and make payments in GBP to HMRC.

There is also quite a record keeping overhead in recording the currency conversion €/GBP at the tax point of every single UK order. For UK VAT requirements they presumably need to provide the customer with an invoice in GBP, but they'll also need an € invoice for their own tax authorities.

These EU companies aren't taking the option of not shipping low value consignments because they are lazy - they are out to make money after all. Its because of the massive overhead the UK government is imposing on them to import orders legally.

Your idea of EU companies offering British people 10% off their orders seems very wishful thinking. If an order under £135 is intercepted and somehow (its not yet clear how this is checked) it becomes apparent the sender isn't paying the UK tax at source then the order is going to be returned.

HMRC might initially forward items unpaid and try to collect customs/tax from the buyer instead - but the £135 cut-off means this could only be for a limited time, otherwise why change the rules and setup the cut-off?
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by OldDuffer1 »

The 20% VAT seems to be quite variable in application. Perhaps some sellers have managed to persuade eBay that they are not business sellers?

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by 60022Mallard »

OldDuffer1 wrote:
07 Apr 2021 03:19
The 20% VAT seems to be quite variable in application. Perhaps some sellers have managed to persuade eBay that they are not business sellers?
I rather believe it may depend if the vendor fills in the eBay box on the seller form "Country / region of manufacture."

I queried with one vendor why one of his lots showed plus 20% VAT and the other did not when both items were slides of railway trains. He researched and believed it was because he had filled that box in on the "plus VAT" and not on the one without!

It may be worth looking at the item selling details and see if the information is filled in on the item you are looking at which shows "plus VAT".

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by 60022Mallard »

60022Mallard wrote:
07 Apr 2021 07:04
OldDuffer1 wrote:
07 Apr 2021 03:19
The 20% VAT seems to be quite variable in application. Perhaps some sellers have managed to persuade eBay that they are not business sellers?
I rather believe it may depend if the vendor fills in the eBay box on the seller form "Country / region of manufacture."

I queried with one vendor why one of his lots showed plus 20% VAT and the other did not when both items were slides of railway trains. He researched and believed it was because he had filled that box in on the "plus VAT" and not on the one without!

It may be worth looking at the item selling details and see if the information is filled in on the item you are looking at which shows "plus VAT".
Just looked at a couple showing "plus 20% VAT" and that detail is filled in.

So if there is something you are interested in it might be an idea to check for that and then ask the vendor to revise his listing. I believe it may not be revisable if a bid has already been placed.

And for sellers not to fill it in to start with!

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by 60022Mallard »

Further to my post above I have been in correspondence with a couple of Australian sellers after seeing about 50% of Australian stamps listed by Australian sellers showing on eBay UK as plus 20% VAT. The lots of one showed VAT and that of the other did not.

The one with the add on said the Country / region of manufacture was not filled in, but further thoughts showed that he was on managed payments and the seller without the VAT was not on managed payments (yet).

Possibly a coincidence, but possibly not.

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Global Administrator »

60022Mallard wrote:
17 Apr 2021 07:46
Further to my post above I have been in correspondence with a couple of Australian sellers after seeing about 50% of Australian stamps listed by Australian sellers showing on eBay UK as plus 20% VAT. The lots of one showed VAT and that of the other did not.

The one with the add on said the Country / region of manufacture was not filled in, but further thoughts showed that he was on managed payments and the seller without the VAT was not on managed payments (yet).

Great to see the actual VAT ground rules are clear to all, and being universally applied. And we are not even the hated and despised EU. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by lesbootman »

.
I've recently made a couple of ebay purchases, one from Germany and one from the US.

There was no mention of tax etc until after I'd hit the buy it now button, but when I got to the payment screen the lot price and shipping costs showing before I committed to buy the stamps had both had 20% VAT added to them.
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by stamp_pangolin »

This problem is there in India also specifically if the package arrives by courier as against ordinary post...,recently I ordered stamps from Botswana which was couriered via DHL and the custom duty + DHL charges was more than 120% of my purchase cost.....and mind you India has zero custom duty for philatelic items

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by 60022Mallard »

lesbootman wrote:
12 May 2021 19:04
.
I've recently made a couple of ebay purchases, one from Germany and one from the US.

There was no mention of tax etc until after I'd hit the buy it now button, but when I got to the payment screen the lot price and shipping costs showing before I committed to buy the stamps had both had 20% VAT added to them.
Did it not show up on the general topic listing under the price as on the £1.72 item on the attached. I think that may be the only place it shows.

Screenshot (66)-crop.png

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Kevin Morgan »

.
We were recently put on the managed payments system automatically by eBay, we can also no longer see the email addresses of clients. Clearly both ways for eBay to protect their income streams.

In addition VAT at 20% is now being added to all of our sales to the UK, both on the goods and on the postage.

This tax is not visible to the purchaser until they attempt to check out.


Our sales to the UK in the past month, and in the same month a year ago are both down approx. 60%.
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Re: Customs / Import Duty / VAT on buying stamps online in UK??

Post by Global Administrator »

lesbootman wrote:
12 May 2021 19:04
.
I've recently made a couple of ebay purchases, one from Germany and one from the US.

There was no mention of tax etc until after I'd hit the buy it now button, but when I got to the payment screen the lot price and shipping costs showing before I committed to buy the stamps had both had 20% VAT added to them.
.
As I posted on this thread 8 months back below, Ebay was ALWAYS going to add 20% VAT to ALL foreign purchases mailed to the UK on cost of goods AND on cost of shipping. From EU or otherwise.

As indeed they do for ozzies buying overseas from ANYWHERE on ebay. And have done for several years.

A squadron of Sir Humprhrey's here said that would not occur, and quoted all kinds of hopeful get around rules and complex regulations and pipe dreams, to support that hopeful view.

All wishful thinking - it is now 20% added on all eBay buys plus shipping, from outside UK, as can be seen from first-hand reports above.

And sellers are being screwed even more than before by eBay at the same time. Welcome to the world of eBay. Stamp sellers are leaving in droves as we see reported elsewhere here.

Anything I sell to UK, advertised for $A100, costs the UK buyer $A100. My Ebay fees are zero. A quaint old fashioned concept, but it works very well for both parties, as it always has. Works far better now than ever! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Global Administrator - [b][color=#0000FF]November 2020[/color][/b] wrote:
18 Nov 2020 03:35
norvic wrote:
18 Nov 2020 01:48

That would seem to rule out those transactions and indeed eBay as being an OMP for these purposes.

You are living in Cloud Cuckoo Land if you think ebayUK will NOT be required to add 20% taxes onto every imported purchase PLUS 20% on post cost, as they do in Australia, USA, NZ, etc.

These rules were clearly largely written with them in mind, even if initial verbiage is rubbery.

Massive Rivers of Gold to HM Vatman, at near zero cost or effort to themselves. :mrgreen:

No brainer.

My hunch has always been that eBay pass on only a modest fraction of what they collect, (Maybe 50/50?) and no Government globally will make much fuss about that, so huge WIN-WIN for eBay, and for all global Governments that are forcing them to levy it.

Ebay publicly screamed wildly they would totally withdraw from selling in Australia they were forced to collect GST on every overseas sale to here. In months, they were VERY happily doing just that.

Just join up the dots. Easy money to both. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Derbyboi2 »

Kevin

Interestingly most 'dealer' sites outside the UK will have a note, visible to the seller, (under the start price) indicating that 20% will be added to the final price and another small note indicating the same for International Postage. I notice that your sales do have the small note regarding International Postage, but not the additional 20% on the sale price.

I agree that it comes as a shock to see the price of a consigment 'upped' by at least 20% and if I saw something I wanted from your offerings on ebay I would email you direct and make an offer, as most of yoyr sales are 'buy it now'. That having been said not all prospective purchasers will have your email address!

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Global Administrator »

Derbyboi2 wrote:
06 Jun 2021 18:40

That having been said not all prospective purchasers will have your email address!

Even the legendary low IQ for most eBay buyers surely does not stop them googling -

21st century auctions

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=21st+century+auctions

It is not really THAT hard or very terribly complicated, surely?


https://www.ebay.com.au/usr/21st-century-auctions
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Kevin Morgan »

Derbyboi

Our website, email address, phone number, physical address and opening hours appear at the top of our store here:

https://www.ebay.com.au/str/21stcenturyauctions

(Don't tell eBay)
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by phrag99 »

I buy a lot of my Nicaraguan material from the USA.

This week, I have received material from 3 different eBay vendors, 2 private and 1 dealer.

I paid no tax at all.

The dealer's site has some items that eBay has flagged with "20% to be added" and some without, all being recent additions.

Seems that eBay is slowly catching up!

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Global Administrator »

.
Question -- Gibbons just announced they paid $US8.307 million at Sotheby's for the 1c British Guiana.

I assume the system is that the 20% VAT is required to be paid on entry to the UK i.e. $US1.661.400 - making the true cost to SG as $US9,968,400 million, and with even a low 1% all risk transit insurance cost, takes it over $US10 million cost.

As I understand it, when sold VAT inclusive to a UK buyer, SG claims back the $US1.661 input from the presumably higher than $US10 million it sells it for?

Can the VAT experts here comment on this please?
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Kevin Morgan »

EBay just informed us that if we sell more than $10,000 p.a. to the EU, we have to register for VAT with the EU, see here: https://www.ebay.com.au/help/selling/selling/vat-obligations-uk-eu?id=4650
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by towradji »

Yes, Kevin, over 10,000 euro but as I read it, you need to register but the VAT will be charged and remitted by eBay.

Where there could be a problem is non eBay sales to the EU, which also will require VAT and presumably you will have to remit that.

The eBay small fish are not impacted but the whales are.

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Kevin Morgan »

Pretty simple for us, we just stop supplying to the EU once the $10,000 is reached. In the big scheme of things it is a tiny % of our sales.
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by norvic »

Global Administrator wrote:
11 Jun 2021 14:37
.
Question -- Gibbons just announced they paid $US8.307 million at Sotheby's for the 1c British Guiana.

I assume the system is that the 20% VAT is required to be paid on entry to the UK i.e. $US1.661.400 - making the true cost to SG as $US9,968,400 million, and with even a low 1% all risk transit insurance cost, takes it over $US10 million cost.

As I understand it, when sold VAT inclusive to a UK buyer, SG claims back the $US1.661 input from the presumably higher than $US10 million it sells it for?

Can the VAT experts here comment on this please?
In essence you are right but not quite the mechanics.

Reclaiming any VAT paid is not dependent on selling the goods it was incurred on. Any VAT paid out in an accounting period (month/quarter) can be deducted from VAT charged to customers for anything in the same period. If the figure is then negative then a rebate is due. If positive the figure is paid to HMRC.

But I think Gibbons would be working a global accounting system which may mean that the VAT they paid out on the stamp is a lower percentage. I really don’t know all the ins and outs since the start of the new regime in January.
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Global Administrator »

norvic wrote:
11 Jun 2021 20:28
Global Administrator wrote:
11 Jun 2021 14:37
.
Question -- Gibbons just announced they paid $US8.307 million at Sotheby's for the 1c British Guiana.

I assume the system is that the 20% VAT is required to be paid on entry to the UK i.e. $US1.661.400 - making the true cost to SG as $US9,968,400 million, and with even a low 1% all risk transit insurance cost, takes it over $US10 million cost.

As I understand it, when sold VAT inclusive to a UK buyer, SG claims back the $US1.661 input from the presumably higher than $US10 million it sells it for?

Can the VAT experts here comment on this please?
In essence you are right but not quite the mechanics.

Reclaiming any VAT paid is not dependent on selling the goods it was incurred on. Any VAT paid out in an accounting period (month/quarter) can be deducted from VAT charged to customers for anything in the same period. If the figure is then negative then a rebate is due. If positive the figure is paid to HMRC.

But I think Gibbons would be working a global accounting system which may mean that the VAT they paid out on the stamp is a lower percentage. I really don’t know all the ins and outs since the start of the new regime in January.

Surely there is a clearly published formula for such transactions? Imports of stock must occur all the time for corporations. We seem to have an army of self-confessed VAT experts here, but none to answer this one! :lol: :lol:

There needs to be some ACTUAL price paid in the SG books noted, and if that is about $US10 million that is the theoretical value of this stamp on the balance sheet.
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by iaincraven »

I assume the system is that the 20% VAT is required to be paid on entry to the UK i.e. $US1.661.400 - making the true cost to SG as $US9,968,400 million, and with even a low 1% all risk transit insurance cost, takes it over $US10 million cost.

As I understand it, when sold VAT inclusive to a UK buyer, SG claims back the $US1.661 input from the presumably higher than $US10 million it sells it for?

Can the VAT experts here comment on this please?
Am definitely not a VAT expert :lol: But as I understand, ...

On import from USA to UK, SG would pay the UK Import VAT Reduced rate of 5%. This 5% would not be reclaimable at point of purchase. Ordinarily being an imported item it would not be eligible to be sold under the UK VAT Margin Scheme, but there is an exemption for "imported works of art, antiques or collectors’ items". So on sale I think they would only pay VAT 20% on the profit margin and I think the import 5% would be included in "purchase price" for that calculation.

But, as I say, am definitely not a VAT expert.
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Kevin Morgan »

Is the over 100 years old VAT exemption no longer in place?
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by norvic »

Surely there is a clearly published formula for such transactions? Imports of stock must occur all the time for corporations. We seem to have an army of self-confessed VAT experts here, but none to answer this one! :lol: :lol:

There needs to be some ACTUAL price paid in the SG books noted, and if that is about $US10 million that is the theoretical value of this stamp on the balance sheet.
In the UK sellers of goods (stationery, shelving, decorating materials) often price both VAT inclusive and VAT exclusive. For companies who are VAT-registered and can recover VAT paid out from VAT gathered in, the exclusive price is the cost to the business.

For business which are not VAT-registered (like me) the inclusive price is relevant because that is the total cost to the business. (Ink cartridges £3.60 rather than £3)

Gibbons fall under the former category so the tax is actually irrelevant to the stamp stock in their accounts and balance sheet. Yes tax has to be reflected in the accounts, but only in the tax account.

(Can’t see why the quote function isn’t working as it should.)
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Global Administrator »

norvic wrote:
12 Jun 2021 03:14

In the UK sellers of goods (stationery, shelving, decorating materials) often price both VAT inclusive and VAT exclusive. For companies who are VAT-registered and can recover VAT paid out from VAT gathered in, the exclusive price is the cost to the business.

Gibbons fall under the former category so the tax is actually irrelevant to the stamp stock in their accounts and balance sheet. Yes tax has to be reflected in the accounts, but only in the tax account.

So translated into English, this means you too have absolutely no idea what taxes and/or VAT SG will pay on importing this from the USA.

(Do NOT check the ''DISABLE BB CODE'' box when making posts.)
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by norvic »

It doesn’t matter what SG pay in VAT for this because it is not a cost to them, as already explained to you by somebody else in the other thread.

(Thank you for the BBCode tip. If I hit that on the iPad it was an error)
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Global Administrator »

.
So the ''Very Rubbery UK Tax and Import Duty Law According To Norvic'' is that Gibbons will pay ZERO import taxes and VAT on this $US8.3 million stamp when it hits their stock.

For someone who once worked in the Tax office as you have alluded to, you get a large FAIL mark I'd suggest.

Nonsense. Or course they incur massive UK costs for importing it - can someone who does know the deal in 2021, not 1980, come up with the actual figure please?

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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Derbyboi2 »

Without quoting each and every one of the myriad of the VAT and Import duty rules in the UK the answer is really quite simple.

.
1. Calculate the total price of the goods purchased in the USA (try and avoid paying any USA VAT as this is irrecoverable, but will be added to the overall price) including buyer's premium, carriage, insurance etc.

2.The calculation method to arrive at the VAT is tortuous but it equates to 5% of the total price mentioned in 1 above.

3. As I understand it the VAT is not deductible and would not be included in the normal VAT return.

4. On sale of the item (as long as it is not within 1 year) there will be some marginal relief on the original 5% VAT paid.

5. There is no import duty on rare stamps.

These are the rules as at the 4th January 2021.
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Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Global Administrator »

,
Thanks.

Well assuming there are no NY state taxes to add, any more guesses, apart from your 5%, and Norvic's Zero % and IainCravens different scenario?

Even just 5% on $US8.307 million is $US415.350 and 1% all risk insurance is $US83,070, so over $US500,000, hence we are getting up near a $US9 million purchase figure, unless someone else cares to wrestle with UK tax and import laws. And whether 20% VAT on the profit margin also applies is also a possible, it seems. Gotta love your super simple system there. :lol: :lol: :lol:
iaincraven wrote:
11 Jun 2021 20:50
So on sale I think they would only pay VAT 20% on the profit margin and I think the import 5% would be included in "purchase price" for that calculation.
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Derbyboi2
PLATINUM Star Serious Stamp Poster
PLATINUM Star Serious Stamp Poster
Posts: 428
Joined: 06 May 2020 08:01
Location: London, England

Re: Customs/Import Duty/VAT on buying stamps online in UK?

Post by Derbyboi2 »

Hi Glen

It is not a guess! There are 2 'taxes' to consider

1. VAT

2. Import Duty for which there is an exemption under 9704000000 (global commodity sub-code for postage or revenue stamps etc).

As I said before the VAT will be 5% on the total invoice including all taxes levied by Sotheby's New York plus the carriage although I would imagine the item will be carried through in person.

Final price of the BG to SG in the UK is total Sotheby's invoice plus 5% VAT (which should be paid before the item is imported).

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