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Reclaiming possibly unfair VAT charge on package

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    Not sure if this is the right place, but it is kind of a money issue.

    I'm studying abroad in the US and I recently sent myself home a package of my winter clothes I don't want to have to stuff into an already overfull suitcase, but were quite expensive so I wanted to keep. Every single item in the package was purchased in the United Kingdom, and thus every item had already had VAT paid on it. I swear I marked the package as a gift in order to avoid any sort of tax from 'importing' my own property, but the package has just arrived in the UK and has a £40 VAT charge to pay otherwise it's going to be sent back to me in the US.

    Is there any way we could pay the VAT charge in order to prevent the package being sent back to me, and wasting a good £60 worth of postage fees, and then reclaim the money back? I'm not sure I have receipts for the items, because they were all purchased so long ago. Anyone know anyone I could complain to, try to re-log the package as a gift, or point out I already paid the VAT on the products in the first place?
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    (Original post by likethepaint)
    Anyone know anyone I could complain to, try to re-log the package as a gift, or point out I already paid the VAT on the products in the first place?
    You shouldn't have marked the package as a gift. You can send belongings home in such a manner, however, you should have a customs declaration marked 'Personal belongings'. See the following:
    www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/post/sending.htm
    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/post/...procedures.htm

    Receipts aren't neccessarily required -see form C3 on this page -
    http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/channelsP...HMCE_CL_000308

    How do you know they are demanding payment of VAT? Did the demand not have any contact details? If there is a contact number on the demand for VAT, phone them immediately and explain the situation (or get someone in the UK to do it on your behalf). If there were no contact details on the demand (which I'm guessing is the case) then there is contact information on one of the above links under the heading 'Getting more help and advice'.

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Updated: March 29, 2012
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