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Fedex invoice wrong VAT applied

  • 15-02-2022 10:42am
    Registered Users Posts: 10

    Last November I received a parcel from US with books delivered by Fedex. A couple of days later I've received a duty and tax invoice from Fedex where 23% VAT was applied from Fedex. In the comercial invoice attached to this invoice, the description of goods is books. I've raised several queries at Fedex to get this look at and they never replied to my queries, last week I've received a debt collectors letter.

    Today I've received this email from Fedex

    Does anyone has any experience/knowledge/thoughts on dealing with this?


    ----------------- Fedex email below ------------------

    Please be advised the Vat rate charged on this invoice has being done correctly at 23% which is the Vat rate in Ireland. Please find attached a breakdown of how the charges were calculated.

    The value of the goods 228.00 USD divided by the exchange rate of 1.183 :- €192.73

    Pre-landing delivery charge of :- €3.44 These are then added together in order to give the total Customs Value of the goods :- €196.17

    This amount is then multiplied by 0.0% which is the rate of Duty for this commodity. This gives the total amount of :- €0.00

    The VAT rate is calculated in exactly the same way in order to find the total Customs Value of the goods, then the Duty amount (if applicable) is added, plus the Post-landing delivery cost thus giving a total value of :- €196.17

    This is then multiplied by 23% which is the present standard rate for VAT. This gives a total VAT amount of :- €45.12

    Therefore the charges were levied accordingly :- DUTY €0.00 VAT €45.12 Disbursement Fee €13.54 Vat on Disbursement €3.11 TOTAL €61.77


  • Registered Users Posts: 477 ✭✭stronglikebull

    Books have 0% VAT, so they've done their maths wrong. You could point them at this on the Revenue website, or just ignore them as you owe nothing. If it's been passed to a debt collector then you'll probably get a few letters will all kinds of legal threats and other BS, but it will amount to nothing. They will not go any further than a few letters, and even if they did go to court (costing them hundreds or thousands of euro) you still don't owe anything. Ignore them and it will go away.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10 joselete

    Thanks for your comment. I've forwarded Fedex respond to revenue, their response was to get Fedex to amend the declaration so the correct VAT will be applied. Its really frustrating dealing with a company with bad customer service, but misleading and bulling your customers is simply wrong Fedex!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,635 ✭✭✭dotsman

    I have an invoice from FedEx from over 2 years ago. Ignored it then, and the few subsequent threatening letters. Haven't heard anything in a long while. Like you, they had come up with a ridiculous figure that I did not owe (miscalculated the charges and added a load of their own handling fees etc). Rather than deal with them, I just ignored it. I was never a customer of them, the sender was. Let them chase the sender if there is a mistake. Maybe if more sellers had to put up with the BS from this crowd, less sellers would use them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 35,828 ✭✭✭✭BorneTobyWilde

    If they miscalculate for everyone then it's a company policy, so many won't question it. It's fraud on their part.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭silver2020

    When you buy from someone you tick a box saying that you accept the terms and conditions. These terms and conditions will have details of tax being your responsibility. Effectively you accept the costs of tax and clearance.

    Whilst you may have got away with a minor amount, they may look for past payments if another delivery is due or refuse to deliver without payment upfront.

    For the op, not all books are vat free. If they were printed manuals or if more than 25% of pages were blank for notes, or were a calendar book or notebook, the standard rate applies.

    Just putting "books" is too general.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭silver2020

    Utter sh1te.

    They go by what the sender says. Too many senders do not give proper description of the goods.

    I've used them and ups for years and years for goods and samples and never have had an issue because the correct information is provided by the sender.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭silver2020

    Btw, if they are "books" as in novels, biographies etc, the official description by the sender should read "printed books"

    That will show as a zero rate item and your only fee will be the processing fee. (Applies even if zero rated)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,635 ✭✭✭dotsman

    Yes, I am happy to pay the tax I am supposed to owe, but not A) miscalculated tax/customs and B) ridiculous handling charges & fees that I am not told about up front (it was free shipping for buying over a certain amount). I can't remember the amount exactly, but instead of maybe €40 in customs that I should have owed, they were trying to charge me well over €100.

    I can't be the only customer to refuse to pay, as that particular retailer now pays the tax and customs themselves as part of their free shipping offer.

    And I have had one or two deliveries via FedEx since and not a peep. But generally, i avoid retailers who use FedEx.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,532 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    Two very different things there. What kind of books were they and how did the sender declare them? Postage (even if discounted as 'free' by the seller) is liable to duty. The handling charges and fees aren't advised the the seller and you should know by now that non EU purchases may be hit with them by the courier.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭silver2020

    You most likely do not understand importing from outside the EU.

    You pay Vat on the full landed cost.

    Basically the cost of goods plus the cost of shipping. If shipping costs are not detailed by the sender on the invoice, then standard rate card rates are used.

    Shipment must be entered and declared to customs. Terms and conditions will tell you that these are your charges. The €10-€15 that couriers charge is cheap. (I paid 84.50 customs clearance fee today for a commercial shipment from the UK - vat and duty was in addition to that)

    FedEx handle millions of packages a day.

    They do not get things wrong if the correct information is provided.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,635 ✭✭✭dotsman

    I very much do understand Customs and VAT. Have been getting deliveries form outside the EU for almost 20 years now, thank you.

    It was free shipping, they miscalculated the customs and VAT and the information is provided by the retailer, not me, so I am not responsible for that issue either. Finally, you don't get to deliver the goods and then turnaround a week or two later and go "by the way, you owe us a couple hundred quid". "We can't be bothered doing a good job, and we have decided we can charge you whatever we want and just make up a figure". I can't remember the exact amount, but it came out as much more than the actual cost of the goods themselves. They can fcuk right off. I am not their customer, the retailer is. Nor do I owe them anything but the correct duty & VAT.

    Years ago (and still to this day with other shipping companies), if there was customs due, you simply got informed of the amount in advance, and decide if you want to accept delivery.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,532 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    You keep referring to free shipping. The discounted shipping rate is still liable to duty and included in the total cost of the items, regardless whether you paid the shipping or not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭silver2020

    There is no such thing as free shipping.

    If a shipping value is not declared, then the standard shipping rate is applied.

    The supplier I got goods from today did not charge me shipping as it was over £2,000 cost, but on their invoice they declare that a shipping cost of £90 was incurred by them.

    Therefore my duty and vat is based on the invoice value PLUS £90, even though it was "free"

    So without a shipping value separately detailed they use a standard rate. It has been like this for years. It applies in most countries.

    As for the ridiculous "they can't send me an invoice two weeks later" Yes they can. Again you agreed to the terms and conditions.

    You really don't have a clue

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,635 ✭✭✭dotsman

    I know that the shipping is included in the customs calculations, but they still miscalculated the Customs and VAT due. And free shipping implies that the retailer is paying the shipping companies charges, not the receiver, who only pays the customs and VAT charges. Hell, as I mentioned above, the retailer in question now covers the customs and VAT in their free shipping offer because FedEx were obviously ripping off their customers so much, trying to force ignorant customers to pay BS charges. Likewise, FedEx have not followed up in the past 2 years as they know they don't have a leg to stand on.

    You really don't have a clue


    As for the ridiculous "they can't send me an invoice two weeks later" Yes they can

    This is beautiful. Before getting aggressive and dismissive, perhaps you might first engage your brain. How can any company send an invoice to someone who is not their customer for services that hey have not quoted for? If FedEx were to send an invoice for a million euro in fees, should I still have to pay it? Of course not. That would be stupid. But more than that, it would be illegal. It doesn't matter how much they want to charge, they simply cannot make up and apply charges after the fact.

    Perhaps you should read up on consumer regulations. They are actually quite simple and very common sense in this regard. And, in future, instead of attacking posters who clearly know a lot more than you on the subject, you might try to learn from them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭silver2020

    I'll repeat - you don't understand international shipping.

    Doesnl;t matter if the seller has free shipping (no such thing in reality) or offers a $50 discount, the FULL shipping cost has to be taken into account to get to the landed value - not landed cost. Landed VALUE.

    If total of goods + shipping is over €150 Duty applies to the goods. Vat is then applied on top of that.

    So if your goods were €100 and your theoretically got "free" shipping and seller did not put ina shipping value, customs insist they use the standard fedex rate as a calculation.

    If that rate was €60, your €100 value is now €160 for customs purposes. This system applies in all countries. It is very standard.

    As that is over 150, duty is applied at whatever rate for the goods (lets say 10%). Vat is then applied to the total including duty.

    So because the seller did not complete the invoice correctly, the €100 package has duty of €16 + vat of €40.48 + fedex customs entry fee of €18.45. Total 74.93 instead of 41.45 because the seller did not put the correct information on the invoice

    The SELLER made the error.

    and if you read the sellers t&c's you will find that the fedex or other clearance is included. Its in virtually every website standard terms.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10 joselete

    Really at this point the fact that the VAT in the invoice doesn't match the goods received is the minor thing. I have no problem paying for any amount that I owe, but I think I'm within my rights to ask why the goods received didn't match the VAT applied on the invoice. Instead of replying to my query, all I've got from Fedex was a bunch of misleading emails with no other intention than push and bully.

    Here is my conversation with Fedex & Fedex Ireland up to date.

    • On the 29th of November 2021 I've received duty & tax invoice from Fedex (invoice date: 16/11/2021).
    • After several unsuccessful attempts to contact fedex by phone, mail and by filling-in online forms, eventually I got through their customer service team by phone. Once the call ended, I've received the following email from Fedex.

    Dear Customer,

    Thank you for sending your enquiry to FedEx Express. We acknowledge receipt of your email and can confirm that it has been passed to the relevant team. This is an auto generated message, so please do not reply to it as this mailbox is not monitored.

    If you have any further information which may help us to resolve the query you can contact us. To reach us by phone, please refer to your assigned reference number CQL 22801183. You can also contact us via email - please use the address in the signature below and ensure the reference number is stated in the subject line.

    • I never got a reply to my query, instead I received a reminder of the amount owed and a final notice warning for the amount due. On the 11th of January 2022 I emailed and call ed Fedex for an explanation, and they told me that reference number CQL 22801183 that I was assigned did not exist and they would have to create a new query.
    • Once again, Fedex never replied to the query, instead I received a debt collector's letter. In this letter you'll find sentences like: Additional cost will be incurred at each stage of collection which will increase your liability further, with an initial 20 euro fee being added should we have to write to you again. They also give you a link to get further information regarding to Duty and VAT invoice: as of today 17/02/2022 you get Page not found. They will also sent you emails like: Please be aware that claims for clearance errors not caused by FedEx Express Ireland Limited may incur an administration fee of €84.00 (plus VAT). Your written confirmation accepting this additional cost will be required in writing prior to any request for amendment being presented.

    Bullying and pushing is wrong, but when done by a company for profits, it really makes you reflect about the kind of world we live in. The only way we can stand against this type of behaviour is to help each other by sharing our experience on social media, forums and blogs alike this one. I don't know if I have the energy or will to keep dealing with Fedex, Fedex Ireland and control account, but I'll be sharing my experience on the platforms frequented by the type of users who buy the kind of goods I bought. Personally, I am now sourcing another retailer to buy my books from, and I don't think they will be happy to hear how their customer service its being destroyed by their courier.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,635 ✭✭✭dotsman

    Let me repeat - I do understand international shipping. You simply don't read people's posts, pretend other posters are saying things they are not and argue points that nobody is discussing.

    Read my post(s) and try again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,532 ✭✭✭✭Jim_Hodge

    I'm sorry but I've read them and you don't understand at all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭silver2020

    You say you understand importing/ customs/vat/shipping.

    Then the next line you say it was "free shipping"

    You do not understand customs / vat / importing.

    I have explained it very clearly.

    I've been importing and exporting for over 30 years on a commercial basis from a small package to multiple containers here, UK (1990's) and France (1990's)

    Process and calculations have never changed and same process and calculations apply in most other countries.

    There is no such thing as "FREE" in the world of customs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 905 ✭✭✭steve-o

    OP, I think the answer you seek, is this: if your package contains only items with attract a 0% VAT rate AND it has the correct customs declaration, then no VAT is due (regardless of postage/shipping costs) and no customs collection fee is due.

    However, the description of "Books" is probably the cause of the problem as it's not specific enough. The sender is at fault. FedEx can only go with what's on the customs label when assessing VAT. You could chance replying to Fedex stating something like: the contents of the package are "printed books" so the wrong VAT rate has been assessed. The correct VAT rate is 0% for such items" and maybe you will get away with it.

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  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,863 Mod ✭✭✭✭whiterebel

    A big problem with goods coming in from outside the EU to consumers has been shipping charges for VAT. Shippers tell you (the customer) that it is free shipping, but put nothing down on the invoice about the shipping terms. If it's free shipping they should use the code for that, normally DDU Delivered Duty unpaid ( Seller pays up to delivered, buyer pays import taxes/duty/charges. Or you can have DDP Delivered Duty Paid - seller pays for everything.

    The method approved by Revenue for these cases is to use the courier full tariff (which is eye wateringly expensive) less 30%. Customs have to be able to see this on the invoices, otherwise in their eyes they are missing out on taxes that are due to the State.

    Even zero rated goods have to be customs cleared, as the details end up at the CSO for trade figures, its not like they arrive into Ireland and go into a black hole. A full customs entry has to be done, sent electronically etc. Couriers want paying for doing this work. As stated by someone else, once you purchase from a site, they will normally have it in their T&Cs that you are responsible for charges on arrival. If you are importing from outside the EU, you need to be aware of these things, otherwise it can get very expensive, very quickly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,635 ✭✭✭dotsman


    I will try to explain this one last time.

    Read the post(s) and try again.

    Forget the "free shipping". You seem to be really thrown by this. Ignore it for now. Stop dragging the thread off topic by constantly talking about it and them pretending that I don't understand how the Customs and VAT is calculated and that you have amazingly figured it out. As already stated, I know shipping is included in the calculation. That is not the point.

    The point is FedEx delivered the shipment from the retailer to me. They then subsequently sent an invoice 2 weeks later with miscalculated VAT and customs with additional huge charges, telling them that I owe them a sum of money that I do not. I have no problem paying if they sent an accurate and correct invoice, but they didn't. They do not have a legal leg to stand on, sending me this invoice. The fact that they never pursued leads me to be believe that they knew they were in the wrong and just chancing their arm, and the fact that the retailer subsequently changed their model so that they now cover all the VAT & customs leads me to believe that many customers were ripped off by this fraud. You will notice, especially since brexit, pretty much all good retailers who do lots of international customers now handle the customs & VAT etc themselves up front rather than dumping it on the customer.

    As for the ridiculous "they can't send me an invoice two weeks later" Yes they can

    This statement is 100% wrong and you know it is, but won't address it, instead rambling on about free shipping trying to make a point when there is none to be made.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭silver2020


    FedEx always send invoice for vat, duty and charges a couple of weeks after delivery.

    No one has ever had an issue with this for the last 30+ years. My guess is if there was a problem that they would have sorted it out by now. But maybe you know better.

    The "Free" delivery is what you brought up. There is no such thing as "Free" in the world of customs.

    Why are you not giving details of the charges?

    Eg. Cost of items, and then the list of charges.

    My guess is you know it will be shown as correct.

    FedEx will start applying late payment charges after 60 days. It then gets sold to a debt collection agency. It then goes to court.

    Your bill then is about €500 higher

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭silver2020


    Btw, many international retailers have moved to DDP ( eg all taxes paid) model as it is now very easy for them to do so as the technology is there and the costs of managing it are minimal.

    It's also an Irish company, eshopworld, that is to the forefront of this, though it was bought out by LaPoste/Swiss post group last year with a valuation of €1billion.

    They have agressively pushed it out to hundreds of new retailers in the past 6 months.

    So your conspiracy theory that a retailer has changed because you have not understand import charges is rather far fetched

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,635 ✭✭✭dotsman

    So you didn't bother reading my posts?


    FedEx always send invoice for vat, duty and charges a couple of weeks after delivery.

    Consumer Protection 101. Contract must include the pricing up front or the manner in which the final price will be calculated. Fedex don't do this, debt is unenforceable.

    If you read my posts, you would see that, traditionally, post/couriers would collect the money in advance or as part of delivery and the consumer would have the opportunity to reject delivery if they wanted to dispute the charges. FedEx don't have a leg to stand on, and you don't have a fcukin clue.

    I know you don't like to read, and clearly have difficulty understanding basic English and concepts, but maybe you could ask a grown-up to read it for you and to explain it to you:

    The "Free" delivery is what you brought up. There is no such thing as "Free" in the world of customs.

    stfu about "free delivery". If you don't understand something, ask a question or stay quite.

    Why are you not giving details of the charges?

    If you read my posts, you would actually know why.

    FedEx will start applying late payment charges after 60 days

    They didn't.

    It then gets sold to a debt collection agency.

    It didn't.

    It then goes to court.

    It didn't.

    Your bill then is about €500 higher

    It isn't.

    If you actually read any of my posts rather than making up BS you think I've said, you wouldn't embarrass yourself so much with this $hite.

    Btw, many international retailers have moved to DDP ( eg all taxes paid) model as it is now very easy for them to do so as the technology is there and the costs of managing it are minimal.

    The tech has actually being around quite a long time. The reason for more retailers embracing it is that it prevents the customer experience being destroyed by gob$hites like FedEx.

    It's also an Irish company, eshopworld, that is to the forefront of this, though it was bought out by LaPoste/Swiss post group last year with a valuation of €1billion.

    No it's not. eShopWorld is a dinky little operation out in an industrial estate outside Dublin that's had a for sale sign on it for years. Shopify has lost 80 billion in market capitalisation in the past few months, yet is still 80 times bigger than eShopWorld.

    They have agressively pushed it out to hundreds of new retailers in the past 6 months.

    Uninformed, unprofessional retailers may have only noticed it in the past 6 months, but eShopWorld (and every other e-commerce platform) have been pushing it for many, many years.

    Here is eShopworld "pushing it" 8 years ago:

    So your conspiracy theory that a retailer has changed because you have not understand import charges is rather far fetched



    I don't even know what this means.

    But we are done here. Your trolling, constant falsehoods, and constant dragging this thread off topic is just boring me now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,045 ✭✭✭silver2020


    I have not read you post above. It's simply way too long.

    You still won't give figures and it seems you still will not read the terms and conditions of the website that you ticked that you agree to them.

    These terms and conditions are usually in English and quite easy to understand.

    They will fully cover the FedEx issue that you seem to have an innate inability to understand even though it's dreadfully simple.