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VAT on imported photobooks?!

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    jimthistle73
    27 Mar 2012 - 2:05 PM

    Afternoon all! I use a US printer for some of my books and albums. I always have to pay an 8 'Handling fee' to Parcel Force and there has always been a bit of VAT to pay too.

    I've just had notification that I have to pay total charges of just over 86 before they'll deliver the latest order!

    I only ask as I thought there had been a change very recently which exempted photobooks from VAT and import duties? Did I dream it?

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    cats_123
    cats_123 e2 Member 104017 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland25 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Mar 2012 - 2:36 PM

    Here's the gospel Revenue & Customs Brief 04/12.

    So (as always never clear), you have to match the conditions to qualify for the zero rating.

    jimthistle73
    27 Mar 2012 - 2:52 PM

    Thanks for that link cats! Having had a quick read , it looks like it applies to UK suppliers only though? No mention of import VAT...

    cats_123
    cats_123 e2 Member 104017 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland25 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Mar 2012 - 3:08 PM


    Quote: Thanks for that link cats! Having had a quick read , it looks like it applies to UK suppliers only though? No mention of import VAT...

    you're quite right of course, but the import duty and vat rates are based on the UK supply so it will probably down to your US supplier to use the correct commodity code when they complete the C88 import document. I suspect that HMRC will have changed the commodity codes to meet the new requirements. It is probably best to phone their helpline. They may put you through to a tariff officer who would be able to explain how to resolve this. (It's been a while since I worked for HMRC so procedures may have changed). Smile

    For Excise Duties and customs telephone enquiries

    Opening hours
    8.00 am to 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday
    Closed weekends and bank holidays

    0845 010 9000

    VAT is applied to the duty charge, so if the duty charge is zero rate then the vat will follow suit.

    jimthistle73
    27 Mar 2012 - 3:08 PM

    Just to update; have just had a chat with a few people at HMRC and Customs and Excise. they all agreed that the books should be VAT exempt and that the charges should not have been applied (had to point them at Cat's article). I'll still have to pay this time, fill out a HUUUUGE form and wait five weeks to see if they'll refund though :-(

    They recommended getting the supplier to make it very clear what was in the parcel in the future. Don't know how much clearer than "Press Printed Photo Album" they could be.... But hey-ho!

    EDIT: cross-posting Cats - thanks again for the help here!

    Last Modified By jimthistle73 at 27 Mar 2012 - 3:09 PM
    cats_123
    cats_123 e2 Member 104017 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland25 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Mar 2012 - 3:10 PM


    Quote: Just to update; have just had a chat with a few people at HMRC and Customs and Excise. they all agreed that the books should be VAT exempt and that the charges should not have been applied (had to point them at Cat's article). I'll still have to pay this time, fill out a HUUUUGE form and wait five weeks to see if they'll refund though :-(

    They recommended getting the supplier to make it very clear what was in the parcel in the future. Don't know how much clearer than "Press Printed Photo Album" they could be.... But hey-ho!

    sorry was a bit slow with my previous answer....to be precise it's not `exempt' (as they well should know Smile), but zero rated. Again though, you need specialist advice to be able to advise your supplier on which commodity code to use



    The problem with budget changes is that HMRC staff only get to see them on the morning after the budget (a brown envelope job!) so have no advance warning and have to get up to speed very rapidly. Applying for a refund sounds the best bet this time

    Last Modified By cats_123 at 27 Mar 2012 - 3:12 PM
    pulsar69
    pulsar69  101611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
    27 Mar 2012 - 10:35 PM

    Couple of things . firstly its books that are 0 VAT so technically they should be labelled as photobooks not photo albums to avoid taxes ... also I use GraphiStudio in Italy and they are now 0 Vat too , aswell as Asuka and a few other foreign companies , its not just UK ones doing it so shop around for the best deal.

    Andy

    OldTom1
    OldTom1  269 forum posts
    28 Mar 2012 - 6:32 PM

    I use Mypublisher but I am not registered for vat so just pay what the company charge. They are based in New York but I registered through Costco. Don't know if that makes any difference.

    jimthistle73
    21 May 2012 - 3:12 PM

    Just a quick update; if you have been charged for importing a photo book recently, the form you want is the bor286 from the hmrc website. Finally getting round to sending mine off now! Looks like there is also a case for claiming back Parcel Force's 8 'handling fee' on each transaction too.

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