Ireland's online shoppers could be hit with double VAT due to Brexit

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Online shoppers in Ireland could be hit for VAT on the double because of Brexit.

This is because all purchases coming here from the UK will have our standard rate slapped on to the price – even if the same tax has already been paid to the British government.

It could see goods costing up to 41% more than the price before VAT at the UK rate of 20% and current Irish rate of 21% is added to the total.

And this is all before the extra customs tariffs that could apply to anything bought from the UK, but not originally made there, that’s worth more than €150.

There is an exemption on small buys of anything worth €22 or less.

It all means that Brexit is coming home to roost for many Irish consumers already with news of the worrying potential double charges.

But Junior Minister for Trade and Digital Regulation Robert Troy is advising consumers to read the small print to make sure they’re not getting caught for unnecessary extra charges.

He also advised that shoppers should only have to pay VAT once and that a refund can be sought from the British seller.

Mr Troy said: “We are now operating under a new set of rules for online trading and I want to remind Irish consumers to be alert to potential additional costs and changed entitlements when buying from UK online retailers.

“The main concerns for consumers are the possibility of additional costs, by way of VAT and customs charges that may apply depending on the value and origin of the goods in question.

“Some online retailers are alerting consumers to these charges and some are including these additional charges in their final price.

“Consumers though need to check out each retailer’s policies and also whether there may be additional charges from the delivery company in respect of fee collection, for example.”

Meanwhile, traders in the North are already feeling the heat of Brexit, with massive freight delays in the first few days after the European Union split became official on January 1. Aodhan Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, said that pain for businesses is coming down the line with deliveries having plunged by a fifth already.

He added: “This is just the opening skirmishes.

“Retailers have been stocking up before Christmas for this first week, the flow of the first weekend was less than 20% of usual transport flow, so there are real hardships that are going to come in the middle of this month.”

Source: Dublin News