Consumers ordering gifts and goods online are being warned of additional charges in what is one of the busiest times of the year.
Revenue is advising shoppers to be aware that while the price of goods advertised online can seem attractively low, this may be because tax and duty have not been included in the price advertised. It has also advised online shoppers to be aware that additional charges can apply once the purchased goods arrive in Ireland.
“Almost all goods arriving from non-EU countries will be liable to tax and duty. If you shop online, 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,” outlined Ms Maureen Dalton, Principal Officer in Revenue’s Customs Division.
Last year, Revenue officers in postal depots around the country applied charges to almost 100,000 parcels and packets. The average duty and VAT charge per parcel was €68.66.
“If the cost of the goods you buy, including transport, insurance and handling charges, is more than €22 you will have to pay VAT. If your goods alone cost more than €150 you will have to pay Customs Duty and VAT.
“For example, if you bought a mobile phone online from China, at an equivalent cost of €212, you would have to pay an additional €54.50 in Customs Duty, VAT, insurance and handling fees. When you buy alcohol and tobacco products online from outside the EU, VAT, Customs Duty and Excise Duty, are payable, regardless of the value of your purchase.”
“However, online shoppers also need to be aware that while almost all goods arriving from EU countries are not liable to tax and duty, alcohol and tobacco products arriving from another EU Member State are liable to Excise Duty and VAT. For example, the Excise Duty, VAT and handling fee on an average case of 12 bottles of sparkling wine, originating in another EU country, could add up to €119.27 to your purchase price,” explained Ms Dalton.
“Make sure you are clear on the actual or real cost of a product before you order it online. This will ensure you not faced with any additional unanticipated charges when you take delivery,” she concluded.