Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


Get on1's Perfect Effects 9.5 for FREE! (£48 value)

VAT on imported photobooks?!


jimthistle73 11 2.4k 1 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2012 2:05PM
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?

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

cats_123 Plus
11 4.3k 25 Northern Ireland
27 Mar 2012 2:36PM
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 11 2.4k 1 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2012 2:52PM
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 Plus
11 4.3k 25 Northern Ireland
27 Mar 2012 3:08PM

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 11 2.4k 1 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2012 3:08PM
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!
cats_123 Plus
11 4.3k 25 Northern Ireland
27 Mar 2012 3:10PM

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
pulsar69 11 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
27 Mar 2012 10:35PM
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 3 69
28 Mar 2012 6:32PM
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 11 2.4k 1 United Kingdom
21 May 2012 3:12PM
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.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.