I have a question about purchasing some Warhammer 40K items for our son from online shops in the UK. We are located in New Zealand. Do we still have to pay the 15% VAT fees? The various online shops seem to still add those VAT fees on... yet we are outside the EU?
Anyone here from USA/Canada/Australia/NZ have any experiences with VAT when ordering from the UK? In the past when I've ordered from Germany the VAT has always been deducted but it doesn't seem to be that way in the UK.
OK. I think I've figured this out... UK seems to not add the VAT until after the country details are known and the payment is being processed (from what I can see anyway).. whereas German sites include the VAT and then deduct the amount from the final total so you can see that it's been removed. Seems to be the difference and what had me confused. All's good.
edited again: On second and third looks... various UK sites all seem to actually include the VAT for all customers regardless of where they are... and they simply don't deduct the VAT for people outside the EU as far as I can see so I've just taken to asking every potential website if those of us outside the EU have to pay the VAT or not.
Most of the UK shops have responded to my questions by saying they have had to pay the VAT so they can't deduct that from my order because it would mean they would charge me less than they paid for the games from their suppliers.
That's definitely a little strange as I'm pretty sure that in most countries the VAT/GST system is set up so that companies don't charge GST/VAT to overseas customers and I would think they would get this VAT that they paid reimbursed from the tax revenue department. It's possible it doesn't work that way in the UK.
Anyway... in a roundabout way I actually do see their point of view in not deducting the VAT on overseas orders because in many cases they are subsidizing the shipping they charge on overseas orders (several even give free shipping) by compensating themselves with the VAT that they don't refund to us on our orders.
For foreign customers it will likely still work out similar in cost (or maybe even a bit cheaper depending on the order size) if they were to charge actual shipping costs and then give us the VAT discount.
So basically they don't give the VAT refund but they compensate by giving shipping discounts. (So my advice is obviously to look for the shops that offer free shipping deals with the lowest prices.)
Hopefully this might all prove useful info for those from Canada/USA/Australia/NZ/Asia/South America etc looking to purchase from the UK shops.
Well, germany is not UK. I know. But at least in germany it is true that the retailer has to pay something like VAT (Umsatzsteuer) to the company he gets the goods from and has to make his customer pay the VAT (Mehrwertsteuer) to him so that he can pay the difference between Umsatzsteuer and Mehrwertsteuer to the tax authority. More important: When I was working in a cloth store it was possible for customers from outside EU to get the VAT back from the toll office when leaving EU (at the airport?). Something similar most be possible for online order.
I work for a company that imports alot from Europe. (more from Germany than the UK) But, we do not usually pay VAT. However the exporter has to file certain paperwork. We do file for a refund of VAT from vendors that charge us VAT. (The money comes from the GVT. not the vendor.) But I know that we have an outside company that deals with the paperwork on this. Of course you should also have to pay any import duty on these items. I don't know how that would work with an individual.
Short answer - It should be possible to not pay VAT but the paperwork might not be worth while.
I would try contacting the taxing authorites rather than the game companies.