ONLINE shoppers have been warned that tax changes are on the way.
From the start of next month valued added tax (Vat) will be charged on all goods arriving into Ireland from non-European Union (EU) countries.
This means the current Vat exemption for imported goods with a value of €22 or less will end.
From that date all goods arriving into Ireland from non-EU countries, regardless of their value, will be subject to Vat, the Revenue Commissioners said.
The tax rate is the one that would apply if the goods were purchased in Ireland.
Principal officer in Revenue’s customs division Maureen Dalton warned consumers that the new Vat rules may apply to goods purchased from a non-EU country in advance of July 1 if they arrive in Ireland for delivery on or after that date.
She said the new rules apply in all EU Member States and are in place to ensure that goods imported from outside the EU no longer have a preferential Vat treatment compared with goods purchased from within the EU, including from Irish retailers.
“Goods coming from non-EU countries are regarded as imports. This means the goods are subject to customs formalities and are liable to certain taxes and duties.
“Currently, if the cost of the goods you buy online, including transport, insurance and handling charges, is less than €22 you do not have to pay Vat.”
She said that from July 1 Vat will be charged and collected on all goods, regardless of their value.
The rules on customs duty and excise duty remain unchanged.
This means that, in addition to paying Vat, if the goods cost more than €150, excluding transport, insurance and handling charges, consumers will also have to pay customs duty.
Ms Dalton said: “If you buy alcohol or tobacco products online from outside the EU, then Vat, customs Duty and excise duty are all payable, regardless of the value of your purchase.”
Ms Dalton reminded shoppers to be aware that these changes may mean that additional charges can apply once the purchased goods arrive in Ireland for delivery.
“If you shop online, you need to check whether the advertised price includes all tax and duty costs due before you make your decision to buy the goods concerned.”
If the supplier is operating a duty paid model, the total price paid for the goods at the time of purchase will generally include Irish Vat and any duties due meaning no further Revenue charges will arise on delivery.
However, where this is not the case, the amount of Vat and any duties due will be calculated by Revenue based on the information provided on the customs declaration, Ms Dalton said.
This is normally completed by the postal service or parcel operator delivering the goods.
The consumer must then pay any additional charges to the postal service or parcel operator before the goods are delivered.