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Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

Old Oct 11th 2012, 12:27 pm
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Default Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

I want to send a thank-you present to a friend back in London, who I stayed with for a week while I was in the UK. I want to send a piece of art work that I made. I am not a professional artist and have never sold any work. The value of the piece, if there is any, is in the canvas that could be reused.

What is the best way to send this to avoid, or minimize VAT or import duty?
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 1:45 pm
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Default Re: Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

I sent a parcel to my parents. The customs declaration was childrens clothing gifts under $20 and my parents were still forced to pay £20 in customs duty and fees to receive the parcel. When my parents questioned it, the very helpful response was that you can't question it. You either accept it and pay up, or you don't get your parcel. I honestly think they just make up whatever they fancy. Certainly if the point of entry is Teesside. Good luck!
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 2:46 pm
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Default Re: Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

Mother in law always sends stuff with gift on it and we never have to pay a penny on it
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

Originally Posted by Ryan NI View Post
Mother in law always sends stuff with gift on it and we never have to pay a penny on it
the key is the gift option. if i remember correctly it did double the amount allowed before being taxable from £18 to £36... not too sure on the actual limit these days...
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 3:33 pm
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Default Re: Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

Motto of the Tax Officials;

"We've Got What It Takes - To Take What You've Got"


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Old Oct 11th 2012, 5:49 pm
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Default Re: Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

The phrase to use in the customs form is...

"Gift. Of no commercial value".
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

Originally Posted by Guindalf View Post
The phrase to use in the customs form is...

"Gift. Of no commercial value".
Agreed.
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

Originally Posted by Guindalf View Post
The phrase to use in the customs form is...

"Gift. Of no commercial value".
And then it just becomes the luck of the draw.
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
And then it just becomes the luck of the draw.
I have never had a problem and I usually put NCV only. In recent years I either send cash or something via the internet.
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

All packages under 15 GBP value, whether gift or not, should not attract any charges.

If you send the item via a private service, such as Fedex, DHL or whatever, all items are assessed for VAT and duty. If VAT or duty is payable, based on the way it is labelled, they will enforce collection.

If you send the item via the Government service, i.e. USPS then only a certain percentage are scrutinised. An even smaller percentage are opened to validate the labelling.

If the item is truly of little or no commercial value then use whatever service you are happiest with. There is indeed a gift threshold of 40 GBP, so if it is under that value then, again, declare it as a gift with the appropriate value and use whatever service you like.

If there's anything iffy about the label contents then the odds of escaping duty, VAT or excise being applied increase by using the public service options.
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 8:13 pm
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Default Re: Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
I have never had a problem and I usually put NCV only. In recent years I either send cash or something via the internet.
I've had one get held by customs to my mother and she's also had another by her sister who sent a DVD from Japan.

It's pretty rare though I'd say for us at least, but it's still luck of the draw.

I guess it also depends on how vague you are about the description of the package
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Old Oct 11th 2012, 8:17 pm
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Default Re: Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

Just write the following on the outside of your package;

CONTENTS: None of your effing Business

Value: See Above


You will be just fine


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Old Oct 11th 2012, 10:39 pm
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Default Re: Sending gift to the UK, best way to minimize VAT?

Not what I was hoping for but exactly what I was expecting... thanks all, guess I will just cross my fingers.
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