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Paying tax + charges on items sent by post (which we already owned)

  • 25-01-2023 1:43pm
    Registered Users Posts: 16,475 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi all,

    hoping you can let me know if this sounds usual or unusual to you.

    my Daughter recently spent time in Japan - a few months - and when she was coming home, she packed some stuff in a box and posted it via a Japanese courier company called Kuroneko, and it as delivered in Ireland by UPS. In the box is stuff she already owned, nothing new.

    She paid for postage/delivery in Japan. Still, Kuroneko said she'd need to pay tax on it in Ireland. And indeed, when it was delivered today,there's €20 in 'charges and €29 in 'tax'.

    I'm surprised at this - paying vague 'charges' and paying tax on stuff she already owned, but maybe it's standard these days.

    Can anybody else comment if this is just standard stuff?

    Post edited by whiterebel on


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,770 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    She didn't spend enough time in Japan to become resident so she has to pay taxes on anything she imports.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,475 ✭✭✭✭osarusan

    She didn't buy them in Japan - she took them from Ireland.

    Do you mean that if a person leaves Ireland goes abroad with a suitcase full of, say, clothes and books that were purchased in Ireland, and then, while abroad, puts some of those those books in a box and sends them back to Ireland, they will still have to pay import duty on them?

    That person is considered to be importing those books? Even though they were purchased in Ireland and effectively export from Ireland in a suitcase?

  • Registered Users Posts: 652 ✭✭✭eusap

    Wonder what happens when people pack up containers to Australia and then come back again?

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,745 Mod ✭✭✭✭whiterebel

    The best way for that not to happen was to take an inventory on the way out, and get it stamped by customs on departure. Then present it on departure from Japan and arrival back to Ireland as personal effects.

    Presumably that went out in luggage, so they should come back in luggage. As it is, it looks like they are shipping goods into Ireland without paperwork. If that worked, everyone would do it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,475 ✭✭✭✭osarusan

    So unless it can be proven otherwise, everything shipped in that way will be assumed to have been purchased in that country and liable for tax?

    I can see how it has to work like that, but it's a pain to be paying import tax on stuff she bought in Ireland.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,770 ✭✭✭✭Del2005

    If she can prove she bought them in Ireland, or the EU, then there's no taxes due. If she can't then there's tax due.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭walterking

    Yes and that's the way it works worldwide. Exact same if you sent stuff from here to Japan, you would be liable for taxes there. Or if you were sending from japan to Australia, or Japan to USA

    In a way it shows a massive benefit of the EU where no paperwork or charges are added