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irish customs help!


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Sorry, I'm not used to having to pay $6000 for a gift. I'm sure Chris did it to be nice, perhaps that was the gift, but it hardly turned out that way. I do think it ought to be able to be returned tax free, Sale cancelled, but it wasn't a sale was it...t make them go away as much as we might disagree with their utility.

 

But let's say the buyer wasn't even aware the seller wrote 'gift' on the package? Let's say it was sent without that checkbox marked, how would you then describe the situation? If I follow your logic, if 'gift' was never written on the package, then it's entirely the buyer's fault? Because 'gift' was there, it then becomes almost a scheme and should be treated as a gift, even if the buyer wasn't even *aware* that he/she may have to pay taxes on an imported item, and the notion of putting 'gift' on a package was probably foreign to him/her?

 

If I follow your logic with taxes, when I sell a concertina for someone who wants to go play a gigue in another country, and this person gets his concertina confiscated in the other country because they figured he was going there to 'work' illegally, then it is my fault? If I ship a concertina in Alaska and the buyer complains the wood cracked after a year because the weather is too dry, it is also my fault? I don't think so. I don't see why it would be my fault if the buyer gets asked by HIS country to pay taxes on something he imported. This has nothing to do with the transaction.

If you act in a law abiding fashion as a seller, you are off the hook as far as I'm concerned. If you attempt to misrepresent a material fact for the sake of financial gain either yours or that of another, you have some legal responsibility in the endeavor, ( at least in US court system ). My point isn't to spend time blaming people. The high price of decent concertinas now puts them out of reach of many people and I can understand any effort to make their purchase less painful. Trying to get around customs is just too big a gamble with such high priced items.

Dana

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If you act in a law abiding fashion as a seller, you are off the hook as far as I'm concerned. If you attempt to misrepresent a material fact for the sake of financial gain either yours or that of another, you have some legal responsibility in the endeavor, ( at least in US court system ). My point isn't to spend time blaming people. The high price of decent concertinas now puts them out of reach of many people and I can understand any effort to make their purchase less painful. Trying to get around customs is just too big a gamble with such high priced items.

Dana

 

Allright, I more clearly get your point. I guess I don't have the same moral standards as yours. As long as my actions are deemed legal in my country, I don't care much if my actions will create something illegal in another, if the other person is willing to take the risk.

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Even in your country, couldn't a knowing misrepresentation of facts in a formal transaction like this be construed as illegal fraud, perpetrated on the government of the other country? I don't know the answer to that, but it might be worth considering.

 

Daniel

If you act in a law abiding fashion as a seller, you are off the hook as far as I'm concerned. If you attempt to misrepresent a material fact for the sake of financial gain either yours or that of another, you have some legal responsibility in the endeavor, ( at least in US court system ). My point isn't to spend time blaming people. The high price of decent concertinas now puts them out of reach of many people and I can understand any effort to make their purchase less painful. Trying to get around customs is just too big a gamble with such high priced items.

Dana

Allright, I more clearly get your point. I guess I don't have the same moral standards as yours. As long as my actions are deemed legal in my country, I don't care much if my actions will create something illegal in another, if the other person is willing to take the risk.
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Even in your country, couldn't a knowing misrepresentation of facts in a formal transaction like this be construed as illegal fraud, perpetrated on the government of the other country? I don't know the answer to that, but it might be worth considering.

 

I'm sure it's not, unless there's a specific agreement between the two countries in question. For exemple, being in Canada and not declaring revenus from another country is illegal... Let's say you make money from France while being here, the French government used not to care because you were not making the money from there (as a french resident), but now with a new agreement, the French government will pass your revenu information to the canadian tax authorities and you'll get caught.

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That link to the UK Customs duties says "If you reject and return goods to sender after paying duty and import VAT you may ask for a refund." It's possible that Ireland has a similar provision. Of course, the purchaser would still have to find the money, if only temporarily, to pay the duty.

 

It seems a pity that a nice instrument is languishing in the Customs' store, and may end up who knows where? Perhaps the solution would be for you to see whether you can agree with the purchaser and customs to get the instrument released and returned to you, and you would deduct any charges and shipping costs for this before refunding the purchase price. Not the ideal solution, you lose a sale and the purchaser loses the instrument and some cash, but at least you'd get it back with the possibility of selling to someone else.

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I'll add this again in case anyone missed it :)

Anyone asked to pay VAT (Value Added Tax or Sales Tax) when importing a used instrument in a private sale should query it very strongly with their tax authorities.

 

The general principles of VAT is that they are charged (collected) by VAT registered business on goods and services supplied to the public. Each business balances the VAT they collect and what they pay out to suppliers. The difference is then paid to the government on a monthly/ annual basis.

 

You buy a lawnmower - you pay VAT, you get a haircut - you pay VAT.

You buy a used lawnmower from a neighbour - you don't pay VAT because 1) the original purchaser has already paid the VAT and 2) the seller is not registered for VAT.

You buy a new lawnmower from a small business that is not registerd for VAT - you don't pay VAT.

You buy a new lawnmower by importing it from outside EU into say, Ireland from a VAT registered company. They export it VAT free and and you pay local VAT rate on import.

 

Lawnmowers and concertinas are the same in tax law. Second hand goods from private sellers are not liable for VAT

 

General taxes such as 'import duties' are harder to argue - basically these are made up by each tax authority and there are no principles attached - you just pay them, like income tax!

Edited by tombilly
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... welcome to the province of Quebec where taxes are paid everytime a car is old. If a car is sold 7 times through it's lifetime, taxes will be paid 7 times... Taxes are paid based on the official evaluation of the vehicule, not it's transaction price. Peoples used to fake a lower sale price to pay less taxes, it doesn't work anymore.

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... welcome to the province of Quebec where taxes are paid everytime a car is old. If a car is sold 7 times through it's lifetime, taxes will be paid 7 times... Taxes are paid based on the official evaluation of the vehicule, not it's transaction price. Peoples used to fake a lower sale price to pay less taxes, it doesn't work anymore.

 

I find it interesting how varied the methods are that governments around the world use to fleece their citizens. Some I've read here are even worse than the ones Her Majesty's Port Reeve uses. (Apologies, I have been studying the early history of our secret service recently and the Port Reeve was the Saxon customs official.)

 

Ian

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Although Chris's problem has long been solved this stuff may be useful for someone in the future, as long as it's not the distant future, because governments are involved.:lol:

 

I've collected VAT info from three sites: for the UK from HMCE; for Ireland from Irish Revenue and Citizens Information.ie. Nowhere have I read that tax will vary whether goods are new or used when buying them online from a private individual in a non-EU country, so it would be best to believe tax payment will be required. Gift exemptions and value exemptions from tax vary in EU countries. I did read on the HMCE site that adjustments in the VAT for purchasing "antiques" is a possibility.

 

The EU is a work in progress. In the USA commerce rules were made uniform in all regards among the states from the early days and perhaps this will occur in the EU eventually.

 

Anyway, here are what seem to me very clear instructions from the UK and Ireland. I've referred to these when shipping overseas.

 

UK info from HMCE

Shopping on the Internet

Shopping on Internet FAQs

Irish Revenue info.

Gifts and VAT

Irish Government Citizens Information Service

General VAT info

Edited by Laitch
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Guest Peter Laban

That information is very clear:

 

This section only deals with VAT for private individuals who buy goods for personal use.

 

In general, you have to pay VAT and import duty on any goods you are bringing into Ireland from outside the EU. This includes goods purchased online and by mail order. You will have to pay VAT at the same rate as applies in Ireland for similar goods.

 

Within the EU, VAT is usually paid in the Member State you purchased the goods, however, there are some exceptions (see below).

If you buy online or by mail order etc.

 

From outside the EU

 

You can buy goods from outside the EU up to a value of €22 without incurring any VAT charges. Goods up to a value of €150 may be imported without payment of Customs Duty. To avoid these packages being stopped by Customs, the value should be clearly marked on the label. However, VAT and import duty is charged on importations of tobacco, tobacco products, alcoholic product and perfumes even if they cost less than €22. The Revenue Commissioners provide a Guide to the reliefs available for the import from non-EC countries.

 

If your online purchase costs more than €22 you will have to pay VAT. If your online purchase costs more than €150 you will have to pay VAT and Customs Duty. This will be collected by the company that delivers your parcel. The company usually have an administration charge. Methods of delivery and collection differ from company to company, so you should contact them directly for more information.

 

Around christmas there was a report on the news from the mail sorting centre in Mullingar where foreign packages arrive, in it it was stated that they taxed anything over €40, that seems to hold true from my experience even though above states anything over €22 is liable for taxes.

Edited by Peter Laban
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Around christmas there was a report on the news from the mail sorting centre in Mullingar where foreign packages arrive, in it it was stated that they taxed anything over €40, that seems to hold true from my experience even though above states anything over €22 is liable for taxes.

Seeing that it was a Christmastime news story, Peter, I think the report may have been referring to the €40 threshold for gifts. That the same threshold is applied year round may speak to the diligence, training or generosity of the government employees involved. :lol:

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Guest Peter Laban

Actually I don't think they meant it was exclusively for gifts as a large part of the context was about on-line buying (as in buying your presents for others through e-bay maybe but not sending gifts as such).

 

I do think the €40 mark may be in place to alleviate workload of the rural post delivery, it wouldn't be worth collecting a few euro for every small item. Our own postman for example has a huge route to cover with most houses on it in remote rural settings. On normal day (we're at the end of the route) he rarely makes it here before six, during the christmas period he was sometimes as late as eight and there were saturday and sunday deliveries at the time as well, just to keep up.

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and there were saturday and sunday deliveries at the time as well, just to keep up.

 

Well, count yourself lucky to live in a country where some people actually do work on week-ends. In here, postmen are part of big unions, and you'll see snow in july before you see one them work on a week-end.

Edited by Azalin
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... welcome to the province of Quebec where taxes are paid everytime a car is old. If a car is sold 7 times through it's lifetime, taxes will be paid 7 times... Taxes are paid based on the official evaluation of the vehicule, not it's transaction price.

 

That's a good one - but I don't understand. Suppose you want to sell your car in Quebec to another private citizen - you advertise and come to an agreement and s/he writes a cheque or gives you cash. How does this tax thing work then? Do you, as honest citizen, go to the tax man and say 'here's your slice'!! Or is tied into the paperwork that goes with re registering the car owner? Who pays? Maybe you don't much sales tax on the original purchase of the car and the tax is spread out over it's lifetime.

 

But this must be special arrangement for cars - it hardly applies if you sell, say furniture or musical instruments, privately.

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...............That's a good one - but I don't understand. Suppose you want to sell your car in Quebec to another private citizen - you advertise and come to an agreement and s/he writes a cheque or gives you cash. How does this tax thing work then? Do you, as honest citizen, go to the tax man and say 'here's your slice'!! Or is tied into the paperwork that goes with re registering the car owner? Who pays? Maybe you don't much sales tax on the original purchase of the car and the tax is spread out over it's lifetime.

 

But this must be special arrangement for cars - it hardly applies if you sell, say furniture or musical instruments, privately.

Hi tombilly

 

In the US, there are 50 different taxes. Each state is different. It's not a federal tax. It's called a sales tax. In Pennsylvania, you cannot register a car unless there is proof of sales tax paid at the rate of 6% or 7% depending on which county you live. It's tied to the paperwork. If I move to another state, to register it in that state, I would have to prove taxes paid, and if the new state is higher I would have to pay the difference. If it's less, then too bad for me. If they think I valued the car too little, then they would assess the value and assign a tax before I can register and drive it legally. So if I get a great deal like the old dusty car in the barn dream, then too bad for me.

 

I wondered how many times it's been paid on my 1928 Model A Pickup truck which sold new for $300, and when I bought it I remember paying about $400 in sales tax alone. The registration and license are above that. :blink: :unsure:

 

I don't know about furniture or musical instruments, I'm too afraid to ask. ;) But if I purchased them in a store, then new or used, the tax would apply and the store collects it. :(

 

Imports into the US are handled at the Federal level before it gets to the states and becomes transparent in the selling price, never to be seen again.

 

Thanks

Leo :)

Edited by Leo
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... welcome to the province of Quebec where taxes are paid everytime a car is old. If a car is sold 7 times through it's lifetime, taxes will be paid 7 times... Taxes are paid based on the official evaluation of the vehicule, not it's transaction price.

 

That's a good one - but I don't understand. Suppose you want to sell your car in Quebec to another private citizen - you advertise and come to an agreement and s/he writes a cheque or gives you cash. How does this tax thing work then? Do you, as honest citizen, go to the tax man and say 'here's your slice'!! Or is tied into the paperwork that goes with re registering the car owner? Who pays? Maybe you don't much sales tax on the original purchase of the car and the tax is spread out over it's lifetime.

 

But this must be special arrangement for cars - it hardly applies if you sell, say furniture or musical instruments, privately.

 

Hehe, well, this isn't how it works here. Yeah, you sell your car through a private arrangement. But both parties are obligated by law to show up at some government office so sign the "vehicule registration switch" so that the government can keep track of who owns what car. So to get a valid plate behind your car you need to show up there. So when both parties show up to for the switch, this is when the nice government will look at the car model etc and check in their book for it's value and tax the new owner. You can refuse to pay, but then you won't get a legal plate and can't legally drive your car.

 

Ah, what's even more fun, if you buy a 2007 car for example, that's been totally smashed up in a accident and get it for a very low price... it doesn't matter, in the book it says "value = 14 000$" and you're gonna be taxed on that.

 

What's even more ironic is that the province of Quebec still manages to have the worse roads in the country, even though they are taxing drivers like hell.

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What's even more ironic is that the province of Quebec still manages to have the worse roads in the country, even though they are taxing drivers like hell.

 

I feel for you but it is somehow amusing to realise government Muppets are the same the world over.

 

Ian

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