06 Dec 2021

Revenue warns shoppers about buying form the UK and outside the EU

Gardaí issue online shopping warning ahead of Christmas rush

You could be hit with a pricey surprise if you don't check

The Revenue Commissioners has warned online shoppers to check advertised prices to make sure all tax and duty costs are covered before checking out.

The tax office is issuing the alert in the run up to Black Friday because it says if the price advertised is not inclusive of these costs shoppers will be hit with extra VAT and Customs Duty when the goods arrive in Ireland.

Because of Brexit, the head of Revenue’s South East Frontier Management Branch, Ms. Maureen Dalton said additional charges now apply to goods bought from the UK, excluding Northern Ireland.

Ms. Dalton said: "If you shop online, whether it be in Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales or more generally for Christmas gifts, you need to check whether the advertised price includes any tax and duty costs due before you make your decision to buy the goods concerned. 

"In some instances, the supplier may operate a duty paid model, where the total advertised price for the goods at the time of purchase includes Irish VAT and duties meaning no further Revenue charges will arise on delivery."

Customers are advised that if this is not the case, then the amount of VAT and any duties due will be payable when the goods arrive in Ireland and the individual will have to pay postal service charges or parcel operator fees before the goods are delivered.

The VAT exemption for imported goods with a value of €22 or less came to an end on July 1, 2021, meaning that import VAT is payable on all goods arriving into Ireland from non-EU countries no matter the price.

"If the purchase price of the goods alone is more than €150 you will have to pay Customs Duty and VAT.  For example, if you purchase a pair of runners from the UK, costing €250, assuming a freight charge of €12, you will pay an additional €84.86 in Customs Duty and VAT." added Ms. Dalton. 

Online shoppers are advised to be aware that no customs formalities apply when shopping online from Ireland or other EU countries. 

If individuals are purchasing items online from a non-EU country, it is important to note that where the price of the goods advertised may seem low, tax and duty may not be reflected in the price advertised.

Ms. Dalton said: "It is wise to be certain about the real cost of a product before going ahead with ordering online. Consumers also need to remember that, separate to import taxes and duties, it is normal practice for parcel operators to also charge an administration fee. Administration fees can vary so should be checked by consumers before they make their purchase."

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