herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Festive shoppers targeted in new crackdown on tax

BEWARE: Customs duty enforced for imported shopping

THE REVENUE Commissioners are targeting Christmas shoppers who buy presents abroad. The department is ramping up efforts to collect taxes from imported products. Consumers who purchase goods online which exceed €150 face stumping up extra VAT and custom duty if it has not already been paid.

The department is ramping up efforts to collect taxes from imported products.

Consumers who purchase goods online which exceed €150 face stumping up extra VAT and custom duty if it has not already been paid.

The department intercepts packages before they reach An Post or couriers and issue the receiver with a notice outlining that they have held their parcel until they provide proof of receipt. Import charges, including customs duty, excise duty, anti-dumping duty and countervailing duty where applicable and VAT are all payable on goods ordered over the internet or from mail-order catalogues.

"Some websites state that they can misdeclare or undervalue the goods as a way of avoiding charges," the Revenue Commissioners outlined.

"Clearly, this is illegal and purchasers should bear in mind that they, as the importer of the goods, have legal responsibility for ensuring the accuracy of information provided on the declaration by the seller and ensuring that the correct payments are made."

Consignments not exceeding €150 may be imported from outside the EU without payment of customs duty, while consignments not exceeding a total value of €22 may be imported without payment of VAT.



aware

But it is the customer's responsibility to ensure that they have paid the appropriate fees.

"You need to be aware of the potential full price of the goods involved since some websites do not make allowance for charges such as customs duty, excise duty or VAT," the Commissioners said.

The Consumers Association said that internet buyers also need to ensure that the correct taxes are paid and to identify the amount of protection they would be afforded in case something went wrong.

"It can be difficult to insist on your rights when you buy from an overseas website, although you are protected by EU consumer legislation whenever you make a purchase in Ireland or another Member State," said Dermott Jewell, CEO of the Consumers Association.

"You should be very careful if you are ordering from a web trader based outside the EU, unless you know the company.

"When buying from an overseas website, you need to be particularly careful to identify the site's warranty and refund policies, as well as looking for any statement as to which country's laws will apply to your transaction," he added.

If goods are imported from outside the EU, they must be presented to Revenue and the appropriate formalities completed.

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