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Revenue warning consumers about hidden costs of online shopping

Revenue is cautioning consumers to be aware of hidden taxes and charges when they’re buying goods online in the run into Christmas and discount days such as Black Friday.

They are reminding shoppers that while the cost of goods advertised online can appear attractively low, it may because tax and duty has not been included in the advertised price.

Depending on where the consumers buy the goods, they may be liable for additional charges when the goods arrive in Ireland, particularly if they come from outside of the EU.

Last year, officers from Revenue applied charges to more than 90,000 parcels at postal depots around the country. 

The average charge was €67.60.

“If goods have a customs value, including cost, transport, insurance and handling charges, of more than €22 you will have to pay VAT,” Maureen Dalton, Principal Officer in Revenue’s Customs Division explained.

“If your goods alone cost more than €150 you 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.”

However, it’s not just goods coming from outside of the EU. Some goods that arrive from another EU country could also be subject to charges such as excise duty and VAT, Revenue warns.

Ms Dalton also reminded consumers that counterfeit goods are seized by Revenue at the point of importation.
In 2018, Revenue seized counterfeit goods worth in excess of €3 million.

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