Germany, VAT and the US

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codecreatively

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2014
329
0
Let me preface this by saying that I've ordered many times from the UK and Germany, and have never been charged VAT. Is being charged VAT from Germany something new?

 

codecreatively

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2014
329
0
That's what I'm thinking, but the e-tailer isn't giving me any details, he just says they charge it on everything. What I'm reading online about German tax law says if the customer is Non-EU, no VAT.

 

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drydock

Member
Nov 27, 2016
176
7
That's always been my understanding also. I recently ordered pipes from 4 EU countries: Italy, Germany, Switzerland & the Netherlands. None of the incoming 5 pipes were assessed a VAT charge. As per usual, all had hair-raising shipping fees. But no VAT.

 

lotharen

Member
Jul 26, 2016
178
2
It has to do with insurance. If the insured amount is above (I believe) 35-40 dollars the recipient has to pay VAT. I sent a package to my aunt in Germany and insured it for 100 USD, they were going to charge her 300-400 in VAT alone. It was an outrageous amount - I told her to refuse it.
When it came back I insured it for only 20 and it got to her with no problems.
EDIT: If you didn't insure then I'm not sure why your being charged VAT.

 

codecreatively

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2014
329
0
Iotharen, I'm talking about shipping from Germany to the US, not the other way around.
The e-tailer is charging VAT up front, an extra 19% on top of the listed price. VAT is intended for EU consumers, not US .... I chatted with the vendor some more, and they said "I can sell you the goods only with VAT. If you want to get back the VAT at customs you need a document by the customs. That you have to fill out and request."
From what I've read, you only use that form if you purchased goods in Germany in person, and need a refund of the VAT when leaving the country. I believe it's against German tax law to collect VAT from a non-EU consumer when the goods are being shipped out of the EU.

 

woodsroad

Preferred Member
Oct 10, 2013
8,419
526
The German revenue service would probably be interested in hearing about a company collecting VAT but not turning it over to them.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,852
1,234
Most EU vendors take care to see VAT is not charged, others, leave it up to the customer to do the paperwork necessary to recover the tax. I don't deal with them.
And, as "woods" pointed out there are surely those vendors which charge you VAT hoping you won't go the hassle of recovering it. If the VAT police do not request it, the vendor pockets it. That's the general understanding I have of the process.

 

alexnorth

Preferred Member
Apr 7, 2015
602
0
I think Warren might be right on the money here. It's my understanding aswell that you're not to pay VAT if you're shopping from outside the European Union.

 

cortezattic

Preferred Member
Nov 19, 2009
15,151
7,595
Chicago, IL
The Al Pascia website (Italy) states:
You must pay VAT if:

Your billing address is within the European Community

The shipping address is within the European Community

You choose standard postal service as shipping methode
That last line may provide a clue as to why VAT was applied. Just a thought...

 

codecreatively

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2014
329
0
Interesting. I tried both methods (this was from Motzek) with the same result. Also talked at length with Tom but was told unequivialy that they don't ship without VAT, but that I should fill out the paperwork to request a VAT refund. Maddening.

 

stvalentine

Preferred Member
Jan 13, 2015
808
5
Northern Germany
Normally you shouldn´t be charged with VAT. Sometimes the sellers just don´t have the experience and are insecure of how to handle overseas sales. Our "IRC" is very strict here and people are just afraid. No padding of pockets possible in Germany for sure! If you buy in person you may collect the VAT on leaving the EU but if you buy online they shouldn´t charge you at all.

 

weezell

Preferred Member
Oct 12, 2011
10,791
9,601
No padding of pockets possible in Germany for sure! If you buy in person you may collect the VAT on leaving the EU but if you buy online they shouldn´t charge you at all.
And he should know...

 
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pipebuddy

Guest
There's also the fact that technically EU members are not supposed to sell tobacco online to other EU members or, more generally, outside their respective countries ; that is derived from the 2014 EU regulation or something of the like. For example, Belgium has recently put a stop on all internet sales and purchases of tobacco goods. Belgian folks used to be able to do it.

Maybe the vendor is just covering his bu?&: making the sale and not lose the governement's piece of the action he has to give it.

All I can say is that I would simply deal with another vendor that will waive the VAT, as should be for non EU customers that purchase online in the EU.

 

oldmansmoking

Preferred Member
May 13, 2017
588
59
UK
I got a pipe from America the sender put Merchandise instead of gift, he said the online custom form is difficult.

I got £4.66 vat charge by UK Boarder force and £8.00 by the UK Post office as a handeling fee.

I appealed they are giving me the £4.66 back but I have to pay the post office charge, no iff's or but's no appeal!

Its robbery, so much for free trade!

Paid the post office using stamps they wanted me to use my Bank card.

Option 4 was you can use stamps!

 

paulie66scandinavian

Preferred Member
Jul 28, 2016
4,409
2,733
Finland-Scandinavia-EU
Oldmansmoking pipe; Oh ye have been doing this road once and again, all parcels surpassing the total value of $ 35 from outside of EU continent are to be custom clearance upon arrival,this is meaning,you're having some +%24 additional sales taxes added to total value of goods and withdrawing this summ onto their (Custom dept.)bank account,and then these goods are released.This is how it plays here,such a good revenue resurce for governement ain't it?And of course postal services are working hand in hand with customs helping them sorting out outside of EU region parcels, every fricking declared value label on the surface of these packaging are to be inspected in order that nothing would skipp their attention and money collecting .

 
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