Revenue warns shoppers to be wary of pre-tax prices ahead of Black Friday shopping
ONLINE shoppers have been warned that the great bargain they see on a website could turn out to have a tax sting in the tail.
Revenue said shoppers need to be aware that the price of goods advertised online can seem attractively low.
This may be because tax and duty has not been included in the price advertised.
When shoppers buy the goods at the advertised price, they may then be liable for additional unanticipated charges when the goods arrive in Ireland, the tax authority said.
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The warning comes in the run-up to busiest times of the year for ordering gifts and goods online.
This weekend sees a buying splurge expected from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with Christmas shopping already under way for many people.
Last year, Revenue officers in postal depots around the country applied charges to more than 92,000 parcels and packets. The average charge per parcel was €67.60.
Goods bought from online retailers that are based outside the European Union are likely to be liable for valued added tax (Vat), while customs duty and excise duty may also apply.
Principal officer in Revenue’s Customs Division Maureen Dalton said online shoppers should be alert to the additional charges that can apply once the goods they buy arrive in the country.
“Almost all goods arriving from non-EU countries will be liable to tax and duty, and so online shoppers should make sure to check whether the advertised price includes this additional cost before they make their decision to buy the goods concerned.”
Ms Dalton said that if goods have a customs value, including cost, transport, insurance and handling charges, of more than €22 then the buyer will have to pay Vat.
If your goods alone cost more than €150 the shopper will have to pay customs duty plus Vat.
This means, for example, that an item of clothing bought online from the US, at an equivalent cost of €175, could cost an additional €76.08 in customs duty, insurance and handling fees, she said.
“When you buy alcohol and tobacco products online from outside the EU, Vat, customs duty along with excise duty, are payable, regardless of the value of your purchase,” Ms Dalton added.
And some goods arriving from another EU member state can also be liable to additional charges, such as excise duty and Vat.
“For example, the excise duty and Vat on an average case of 12 bottles of wine, originating in another EU country, could add up to €61.78 to your purchase price,” she said.
Revenue also warned shoppers that counterfeit goods are seized by its officers at the point of importation.
In 2018, Revenue seized counterfeit goods worth in excess of €3m.
Fake clothing, runners, handbags and mobile devices are among the counterfeit goods most commonly seized by Revenue.