Last week I had to visit one of my least favourite places in Nottingham – the post office sorting office on Clarke Rd – it is always a pleasure and something that I save up for ‘special occasions’ (not). This time it was especially exciting for two reasons;
Firstly I saw @harters34 (who was also collecting a package, he was aware of my ‘issue’ and asked when I would be doing this blog – and I don’t like disappointing people😄).
Secondly I was collecting the iPad mini case my son had ordered from the USA. Delivery had been fairly protracted (a few weeks) so he was keen to get hold of it to protect his pride and joy. The package had however attracted the attention of the UK Customs, any package is due to pay VAT on its value if it comes into the UK from outside of the EU – and it appears customs are particularly keen on US mail.
So there was 20% to pay – around £4 on the cost of the item (which is very cool and not available in the UK). I don’t have an issue with this, tax is tax, and we all have to pay it (well those of us who play by the rules).
What I do have an issue with is the Post Offices approach to collecting this tax on behalf of the revenue. It is done on a flat fee basis of £8, so in this case a rate of 200%!
So if I had imported a higher value item for let’s say £500 I would be due to pay £100 VAT and the collecting fee would still be £8 – or 8% – rather than the 200% paid in my case.
Surely there is something wrong here?