Does HRMC charge tax on a GIFT brought back from the US? Watch

danlocke
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I'm going to be visiting my uncle in NYC next month, and am hoping to buy a Macbook Pro there to take advantage of the cheaper prices.

After researching simply buying it myself and brining it back, I've found that I would need to declare it at Heathrow, and pay VAT and customs duty, which would eradicate any savings. Furthermore, it seems that if I don't declare it and get caught, I would be in a lot of trouble and would face fines, tax and could possibly have my passport flagged giving me grief in the future.

If however, my uncle were to buy it for me (which could be proved with a credit card statement/receipt etc, where would I stand in terms of tax? Would that be legally considered a gift? If so, could I refute any potential customs ticket with HIS proof of purchase and expressed consent from him that it is a gift? Or would I still need to pay full tax and customs duty regardless?

What would be the best way to go?

Dan
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Blackacre
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(Original post by danlocke)
I'm going to be visiting my uncle in NYC next month, and am hoping to buy a Macbook Pro there to take advantage of the cheaper prices.

After researching simply buying it myself and brining it back, I've found that I would need to declare it at Heathrow, and pay VAT and customs duty, which would eradicate any savings. Furthermore, it seems that if I don't declare it and get caught, I would be in a lot of trouble and would face fines, tax and could possibly have my passport flagged giving me grief in the future.

If however, my uncle were to buy it for me (which could be proved with a credit card statement/receipt etc, where would I stand in terms of tax? Would that be legally considered a gift? If so, could I refute any potential customs ticket with HIS proof of purchase and expressed consent from him that it is a gift? Or would I still need to pay full tax and customs duty regardless?

What would be the best way to go?

Dan
Can't advise on the legal implications, but I suspect it'd still be subject to tax. Here.
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danlocke
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(Original post by Blackacre)
Can't advise on the legal implications, but I suspect it'd still be subject to tax. Here.
That's a shame. So the risk if I chose not to declare is being selected for a random search and then only being able to show that the laptop has just been bought in the US. What are the chances of that happening to me?
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Blackacre
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1) I'm a future lawyer so I can't (and won't!) advocate breaking the law.

2) In any event, I don't know the odds.

Given that you've worked out there's no real saving, why not just save the hassle and buy it in the UK?

(Original post by danlocke)
That's a shame. So the risk if I chose not to declare is being selected for a random search and then only being able to show that the laptop has just been bought in the US. What are the chances of that happening to me?
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danlocke
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(Original post by Blackacre)
1) I'm a future lawyer so I can't (and won't!) advocate breaking the law.

2) In any event, I don't know the odds.

Given that you've worked out there's no real saving, why not just save the hassle and buy it in the UK?
That's my plan- not worth the risk.
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