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Posted Sat, 20 Jan 2024 11:19:59 GMT by
I recently purchased an item from The Netherlands via the Etsy store. Etsy take the VAT @ 20% as part of the payment so that there should be no customs charges. FYI: Item cost was £85.31, delivery £17.92, VAT charge £20.65, total paid £123.88. The package included a sticker stating that VAT had been paid at source and even quoted the VAT registration number of the seller. However, despite this HMRC have charged the VAT again, and subsequently Royal Mail have passed this charge onto me (+ their £8 admin fee). I have had to pay the fee to received my parcel, but now need to see how to get HMRC to refund me their erroneous charges. Thank you.
Posted Mon, 22 Jan 2024 15:12:27 GMT by Customs oldtimer
Hi The Post Office has obviously not picked up that the goods have had tax paid already and submitted the shipment to HMRC for customs clearance. As per Royal Mail web site- For goods with a value over £135 and gifts over £39, customs charges will continue to be applied on behalf of HMRevenue & Customs (HMRC). Royal Mail will collect these directly from the recipient prior to delivery. The claim form for overpaid duty or VAT is a BOR 286 You will need to contact the post office about their charges.
Posted Tue, 23 Jan 2024 08:44:51 GMT by
Thank you for the reply. I spent around an hour combined on the phone Monday talking with both Royal Mail and HMRC. Both representatives seem to avoid answering who was responsible for the error, although the HMRC representative was kind enough to mention the BOR 286 form. Thank you for supplying the direct link. Hopefully once/if HMRC refund the VAT I can use any documentation they provide as evidence to RM and maybe get them to refund their £8 admin charge, because they won't budge otherwise.
Posted Tue, 23 Jan 2024 10:09:09 GMT by HMRC Admin 2

There should not have been VAT charged on the import of these goods if goods have a value below £135.

Where the overseas seller uses a marketplace then it is the marketplace who are responsible for the VAT being charged to the customer and import VAT should not be charged where the value is below £135.

If you have paid the VAT via Royal Mail we would recommend completing a form to recover the import VAT charged to you.

Report incorrect Customs Duty or VAT on items imported by post (BOR286)
Changes to VAT treatment of overseas goods sold to customers from 1 January 2021

Thank you.

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