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tax free shopping in the USA?

edited July 2008 in Not Sports Related
want to get an ipod touch and a mate is in the USA next week so I was wondering am I going mad in believing that as uk residents we don't have to pay tax on items out there?

If so and the price for the ipod is listed as $500 on amazon.com then is that the price before tax or after?

Comments

  • That's the "local" price, so will include the taxes. You're only allowed to bring back something like £150 worth of tax free goods before you get clobbered with a bill (if you get caught!). Check the HMRC website for the exact details.
  • edited July 2008
    You're right - you don't have to pay tax out there. The only problem is that you have to pay tax (VAT, maybe duty - depending on what you bring in) when you bring it back into the UK. You could always just smuggle it back in of course, by not declaring it and walking throught the green channel, but if you do make sure that you don't still have the receipt on you otherwise you'll probably get the rubber glove treatment!

    If you order something of any real value from the States over the internet then the chances are you will get a slip through your door from the post office when it arrives telling you there is something to pay. That will be the VAT again which the Post Office collect on behalf of the tax authorities.

    Check the terms and conditions on the website to see if it's delivered tax paid (very unlikely!) or not.

    Low value items are ok though. Ever wondered why if you order three or four CD's over the internet the sometimes turn up packaged individually? That's so each package falls below the minimum value for tax free imports - which is something really low like £13 for postal imports.


    Admit it, you never thought I could ever be so knowledgeable on anything - did you?
  • As far as I am aware, a lawyer may know better, you can double that allowance by addressing the goods to you and your partner if the goods are for both of your 'pleasure'. A mate of mine does this a lot as he likes the odd DVD box set and PS3 game. Not sure his missus finds either a pleasure bar them keeping him quiet.
  • Anything i've had from US that was under £200 i've never had a problem withbut i had a £250 order that cost me a few quid in charges, about £30 i think.
  • [cite]Posted By: buckshee[/cite]want to get an ipod touch and a mate is in the USA next week so I was wondering am I going mad in believing that as uk residents we don't have to pay tax on items out there?

    If so and the price for the ipod is listed as $500 on amazon.com then is that the price before tax or after?

    The $500 will include local tax which is likely to be at a much reduced level of VAT (usually ca 8%) and if he gets caught at UK customs then UK VAT will be applied. To get around this tell him to either throw the packaging/receipts etc away stateside or mail them and therefore avoid any sign that he bought it anywhere else than in the UK.
  • cheers , funny thing is I remember the missus getting me a 3rd gen 40gb ipod from the states when the first came out which she brought back with a 20gb for herself and got away with it but I remember that despite the £ not being very strong against the dollar it was almost half the price it is here now I'll be lucky to save 75 quid on a 32gb touch if he gets away with it.

    Anybody else hear that they may soon be able to tell what stuff on your ipod is downloaded illegally and clobar you if they catch you at airports , he was right old Orwell.
  • [cite]Posted By: Off_it[/cite]You're right - you don't have to pay tax out there. The only problem is that you have to pay tax (VAT, maybe duty - depending on what you bring in) when you bring it back into the UK. You could always just smuggle it back in of course, by not declaring it and walking throught the green channel, but if you do make sure that you don't still have the receipt on you otherwise you'll probably get the rubber glove treatment!

    If you order something of any real value from the States over the internet then the chances are you will get a slip through your door from the post office when it arrives telling you there is something to pay. That will be the VAT again which the Post Office collect on behalf of the tax authorities.

    Check the terms and conditions on the website to see if it's delivered tax paid (very unlikely!) or not.

    Low value items are ok though. Ever wondered why if you order three or four CD's over the internet the sometimes turn up packaged individually? That's so each package falls below the minimum value for tax free imports - which is something really low like £13 for postal imports.


    Admit it, you never thought I could ever be so knowledgeable on anything - did you?

    You know about real ale:-)
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