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AliExpress and Irish Tax

  • 30-07-2021 8:56pm
    Registered Users Posts: 4,728 ✭✭✭

    A weird thing happened to me today.

    I got an email from An Post stating that I owed €10.18 tax + €3.50 fees on a radio I bought on AliExpress.

    But since July the 1st 2021, AliExpress have been gathering the tax on behalf of the Irish customs, so I already paid tax on the radio.

    What gives here? Do I have to pay double tax on everything I order that is not in the EU?

    Post edited by L1011 on



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 19,308 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    No idea but customs and vat are different things

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,728 ✭✭✭10000maniacs

    Irish customs call it VAT or value added tax.

    AliExpress call it tax.

    Either way, it seems to be the same €10.18 they are both charging me.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 19,308 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    You can be charged customs duty separately to vat though, and a few other charges

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,728 ✭✭✭10000maniacs

    They are both collecting the same tax due.

    From the AliExpress website:

    Information on additional charges

    For items delivered from outside the European Union, you may be subject to additional charges for VAT and, when applicable, customs duties in your country. If AliExpress is obliged by law to collect VAT, you will see the VAT inclusive price at checkout. For more information about these costs, please contact the tax and customs authorities in your country.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,925 ✭✭✭GM228

    This is a bit odd because AliExpress actually correctly call it VAT (as opposed to tax) and their receipts specifically shows VAT (again as opposed to tax).

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,314 ✭✭✭con747

    It's most likely just a glitch in the system somewhere so get in touch and show the vat has been paid and it should be ok.

    Don't expect anything from life, just be grateful to be alive.

  • Registered Users Posts: 689 ✭✭✭rm212

    Likely a case of the seller not attaching the AliExpress invoices/shipping documents correctly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,728 ✭✭✭10000maniacs

    So which website do I go to so as to make my case that I have already paid my VAT on the item?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,314 ✭✭✭con747

    Try An Post customer service as they collect the vat.

    Don't expect anything from life, just be grateful to be alive.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    make sure to report this to Aliexpress also

    obviously something is not working in the process somewhere

    surely the idea is that VAT is prepaid at point of sale at Aliexpress so the An Post "checking" fee (and subsequent double VAT payment) is to be avoided

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  • Registered Users Posts: 689 ✭✭✭rm212

    Send An Post the invoice as proof of VAT paid.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    and ask an post how come the system is not linked up with aliexpress when VAT is paid there at point of purchase?

  • Registered Users Posts: 451 ✭✭phester28

    good luck with that. I emailed them at the [email protected] They released the package but I never heard back why it was stopped or what was not correct on it.

    I checked at work at the post room and I could find some packages that use a similar label system that Aliexpress use. But the main difference is this package showed Vat collected and showed the Irish vat number. Aliexpress labels still show the pre vat in my case in $ amount and no vat number or amount collected. So I think an post have no way to tell if Vat was collected or not

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,728 ✭✭✭10000maniacs

    I know that a lot of the customs guys aren't exactly up there in the logic department but deducing what is the correct thing to do is easy here.

    1: Parcel is from AliExpress

    2: Parcel shipped after July 1st

    3: AliExpress kindly collects Irish VAT on all items shipped from China to Ireland after July 1st and gives it to Irish Revenue.

    4 So therefore let the parcel through. AliExpress have done the job already. Nothing else to squeeze out of anybody here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    I think aliexpress needs not only to collect and account for VAT, but to label their packages in a way that reflects this. Even if postal authorities know that aliexpress should collect and account for VAT, they won't - because they are rational beings - assume that it has always done so in every case, even if the paperwork aliexpress has issued for that case suggests that they haven't.

  • Posts: 5,121 [Deleted User]

    Assuming An Post haven't read the shipping documents incorrectly, this surely is a question you should be asking Aliexpress.

    OP, Share the Aliexpress details with them, and let us know how you get on, whether the paperwork was accurate or not.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Aliexpress is only a platform for many thousands of different sellers who sell and ship the items.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus

    Yes, but aliexpress handles the payments, and so is in a position to make arrangement in relation to taxes and duties which apply to all traders using its platform.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Aliexpress do handle the payments but it seems to be that the issue is very much about that An Post can't /or are not identifying from the item documentation on the physical item coming through sent by the sellers that the VAT is paid (and therefore stopping them and putting on the inspection charge)?

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

  • Registered Users Posts: 430 ✭✭bren_mc

    I had a similar experience on aliexpress this week - VAT charged by seller but Irish customs looking to apply it again (same amount). I found this on the aliexpress website FAQ

    Q: Will I be charged again when goods deliver to my country?

    A: If you have paid for order with VAT in AliExpress, VAT should not be charged again by customs/logistics provider. In case you were charged again, please keep the invoice and submit it to customer service team to get refund of it. Please note administration fee pay to logistics provider cannot be refunded in this case.

    Anyone got any idea how to contact customer service team.?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 451 ✭✭phester28

    you should not pay it again, and in the first instance you should not look for redress from Aliexpress.

    You should email the details of the charge from an post (for example) and and also a copy of the invoice to [email protected] (in this case) they then should release the package. Until an post clarify why they stop packages that have vat paid so that we as customers can feed back to Alixpress then this will continue.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,728 ✭✭✭10000maniacs

    If somebody has paid twice It should be Irish customs coughing up the payment including fees.

    Does the law of deduction not work anymore for these guys in customs? Or did it ever?

    Package from AliExpress China to Republic of Ireland.

    Shipped after July 1st 2021.

    AliExpress collect VAT on ALL Irish deliveries on behalf of Irish customs since July 1st 2021.

    Therefore by the laws of deduction, they have already got their VAT or worst case it is on its way from AliExpress into the revenue coffers, so let the parcel through already.

    These customs guys annoy me greatly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,324 ✭✭✭✭jimmycrackcorm

    AFAIR from my Aliexpress deliveries, it is the seller who attaches the customs labels which they have always done. However, I suspect they don't denote that Irish VAT is incorporated into the platform.

    Post edited by jimmycrackcorm on

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    who? Aliexpress - it's available on the website in the "my orders" section

    should get the "Ask Me" pop up and go from there and select the order in question

    you will need proof of payment / invoice from An Post

    they won't refund the €3.50 "inspection fee" though

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    can anyone post a pic of the front of label (not your address) for something that came through successfully from Aliexpress ordered since July 1 with duty paid to see if VAT Paid is indicated on it?

  • Registered Users Posts: 451 ✭✭phester28

    See attached, They dont indicate vat paid or a vat number. This kind of label appears common across the ali platform. Yet ali claim vat. So the buck IMO stops with ali poor labelling

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,314 ✭✭✭con747

    Is your phone number visible on that? If so delete it.

    Don't expect anything from life, just be grateful to be alive.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,348 ✭✭✭davetherave

    Crossposting what I said in the other thread. You might be buying but you are dealing with a seller, much the same as you buy something on ebay. It is just a marketplace for tens of thousands of stores/sellers.

    It could be that Ali Express are collecting it, but the individual sellers themselves aren't including the IOSS number in the customs declaration so Revenue/An Post have no evidence that the package has come from a retailer/company that is registered for VAT and it has been collected at the point of sale.

    For all goods shipped from outside of EU and VAT-collected by AliExpress, our sellers and their logistics operators will need to include the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS) number of AliExpress in their import declaration into EU, this is to ensure that the goods can then be released for free circulation and delivered to you without being charged with VAT or any additional handling fees at the customs.

    @phester28 just tagging you so hopefully you get a ping to this message, your landline is visible in that photo.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,909 ✭✭✭✭Esel

    "Hello, Mr Phester28. I am calling from AliExpress in connection with your Irish VAT problem. If you give me your IBAN, I will arrange a full refund for you, plus you will receive a €20 coupon to use against your next purchase as a gesture of goodwill."

    Not your ornery onager

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  • Registered Users Posts: 451 ✭✭phester28

This discussion has been closed.