Revenue issues some timely advice for online shoppers

Today (22/11/2017), Revenue issued a timely reminder to online shoppers who may be tempted by the apparent bargains on offer online.

During 2016, Revenue officers in postal depots around the country applied charges averaging €28.70 to more than 76,000 packages and Revenue is reminding online shoppers to be alert to the additional charges that can apply once their purchases arrive in the country. 

If the price of the goods advertised online seems low, this may be because tax and duty has not been accounted for. However, once your goods arrive in the State, you are liable for the additional charges and non-payment can result in your goods being seized. 

Almost all goods arriving from non-EU countries will be liable to tax and duty:

  • If your goods have a customs value (including cost,  transport, insurance and handling charges) of more than €22, you will have  to pay VAT.
  • If your goods cost more than €150, you will have to pay Customs Duty and VAT.

This means, for example, that a branded mobile phone bought online from the US could cost an additional €250 in Customs Duty, insurance, VAT and handling fees. When you buy alcohol and tobacco products online, the above duties, along with Excise Duty, are payable, regardless of the value of your purchase.

Online shoppers are reminded that goods arriving from another EU Member State can also be liable to additional charges. While a case of wine for sale online at €60 might look like a great deal, if the price is low, tax and duty have probably not been paid and Revenue may seize the wine on arrival. Excise Duty and VAT on an average case of 12 bottles of wine, originating in another EU country, could add up to €60 to your purchase, bringing the price you actually pay to €120. 

In 2016, Revenue seized counterfeit goods worth an estimated €7.8 million. Fake handbags, runners, and phones are widely sold online, are among the counterfeit goods most commonly seized by Revenue and, because they are not subject to regulation, may pose health and safety dangers. 

In summary, Revenue is advising online shoppers to be wary. Some deals really are just too good to be true and what looks like an attractive offer, can ultimately be an expensive, or even dangerous, mistake.  

Confidential Free Phone Number 

If businesses or members of the public have any information regarding the smuggling or sale of illicit alcohol, tobacco products, or counterfeit goods they can contact Revenue in confidence on free phone number 1800 295 295. 

[Ends: 22/11/17]