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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

VAT refund for online purchase shipped to Canada

brandi
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:48 pm

VAT refund for online purchase shipped to Canada

Postby brandi » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:54 pm

Hello! I recently made an online purchase (a handbag) from a UK company which included a VAT charge. As I live in Canada and have always had VAT charges deducted from the cost of goods shipped to me from the UK, I contacted the company to inquire if the amount was deducted from my payment and was sent the following:

I am sorry but all sales from the web site are inclusive of VAT regardless of country of destination. We are unable to refund any VAT made as this is not kept by us but paid onto customs & excise. We are hoping in the future to be able to offer VAT free shopping to those countries that qualify but can not say when this will be nor be able to refund retrospectively any VAT made prior to this.

Does this sound correct? Is there any way to reclaim the charge?

Thanks so much for your help.

brandi

SeanJames
Posts: 165
Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:13 am

Re: VAT refund for online purchase shipped to Canada

Postby SeanJames » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:24 pm

Hello Brandi,

The store in question can refund the VAT that they have charged you on the sale of those goods. There are guidelines in place for when a business can zero-rate the supply of goods, and these, it must be remembered are guidelines and are written from the point of view of a business selling goods.

Public notice 703 "Export of goods from the United Kingdom" deals with two types of exports, one of which a direct export fits in with your scenario as this is when the supplier sends the goods direct out of the EC. This is covered in section 3.3 of the notice.

Where the supplier has stated in their letter to you
We are unable to refund any VAT made as this is not kept by us but paid onto customs & excise.
Is partially correct, but at the same time an oversight on their behalf. They can adjust their records and issue you with a credit note and refund you the amount of VAT that they have charged you. But this is a decision that the business would take, and unfortunately, HMRC can not force them to do this, but can guide as to what they should be doing.

If you take a look at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk and type 703 in the search engine and read through section 3.3 you can forward the conditions to the trader and further advise that they should contact HMRC's National Advice Service on 0845 010 9000 for guidance on zero-rating goods outside of the EC and refunding VAT deemed incorrectly charged.

Hope this helps?

brandi
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:48 pm

Re: VAT refund for online purchase shipped to Canada

Postby brandi » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:30 pm

Thanks so much for the response! I will forward this on and see if it gets me anywhere.

brandi

kentus
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:02 pm

Re: VAT refund for online purchase shipped to Canada

Postby kentus » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:08 pm

Hi Brandi,

Did you manage to reclaim the VAT that you paid for?

Im also in a similar situation.
I purchase video games online and they get shipped to Australia.
However the supplier advises me to contact my local tax office to reclaim the VAT which to me sounds totally incorrect.
I contacted my local tax office and they have advised me that I am unable to claim back VAT from them and must contact HMRC/supplier to get the VAT refund.

Thus if my supplier refuses to refund the VAT can I do anything about it?

On another note, another supplier advised me that they Australia is a normal part of their market thus they do not classify goods sent to Australia as 'exports' thus they are unable to refund VAT.
Is this correct?

Any help would be great!!

Thanks

Navycross
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:19 pm

RE: VAT refund for online purchase shipped to Canada

Postby Navycross » Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:21 pm

Hi There,

Has anyone gotten anywhere with refunds? The retailer I purchased from on-line said they could not sell an item without the VAT and wouldn't even break it out on the sales receipt when they sent me my product. All that is written on the receipt is the 160 pounds and 18 pounds shipping with a VAT Registration Number but no amounts.

Am I able to get a refund on the VAT that was charged as apart of the total cost or do I need a receipt that clearly shows both the VAT and the Price of the goods? Has anyone gotten a VAT refund for their on-line purchases?

Thank you again,

Rob

Budget83
Posts: 149
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:52 pm
Location: Bath/Bristol Area

Re: VAT refund for online purchase shipped to Canada

Postby Budget83 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 2:26 pm

The problem with these small firms is that they would need to keep records proving export of goods to 0 rate the supply. It is easier for them to just charge vat on top and pay it over.

Dave-A
Posts: 126
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 4:10 pm

Re: VAT refund for online purchase shipped to Canada

Postby Dave-A » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:02 pm

Hi,

I think the retailer is at fault and doesn't have the infrastructure or advisers to know the VAT rules.

One thing to bear in mind that if the invoice address is the UK, and the delivery address is an export country, VAT should probably be added. As you live in Canada, you should not have this problem.

Dave-A


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