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Paying tax on gifts from USA

(6 Posts)
Grammaretto Sun 31-Mar-19 22:42:24

For the 2nd time, a lovely gift for our DGC from America has been withheld until a large custom and handling charge is paid.
I haven't told my friend because it would upset her. She's a sensitive soul.
Does this happen when I post abroad too? Does anyone know? I've just sent a gift to NZ. I would hate the recipient to have to pay. I filled in a customs form at the P.O. and said it was a gift.

FountainPen Sun 31-Mar-19 23:00:24

Generally you have to pay import duty on gifts received from the USA worth more than £135 and VAT on gifts worth more than £34. There are separate rules for alcohol, tobacco and perfumes.

Your NZ recipient may also have to pay duty. Use this calculator to calculate how much.

Grammaretto Sun 31-Mar-19 23:34:05

Thanks. It was a hand knitted garment in both cases so definitely not worth much in money terms. I'll check with the calculator.

BlueBelle Mon 01-Apr-19 06:04:11

Its happened to me twice with presents sent to me by my son in NZ as far as I know nothing I ve sent the other way has ever cause any trouble
I had to pay quite a bit on a lovely hanging ornament they sent me and it took ages to get the package

The tip is to underestimate the value of the item on the customs label so if you paid £60 write £30 on the label
Doesn’t happen now as I ve stopped sending presents as the grandkids have grown up and only want money so no need any more

BradfordLass72 Mon 01-Apr-19 06:12:30

I was told recently that if a gift, or indeed any purchase, was worth or valued less than $200 NZ, duty was not payable.
I get clothing from the USA, exempt as it's always under that amount.
I had to check, as my US friend had been told differently.

Things change all the time though, best to get an update.

Willow500 Mon 01-Apr-19 06:45:56

I've had to pay duty on items from the US - the worst was for a Christmas gift sent out to all employees from the US company I worked for! It's the declared value which causes the issue I believe.

I'm currently waiting for a parcel collection today to go to our son in NZ - it's a snare drum for his kit so quite a large box. I've had to fill in a pro-forma invoice with the value which we put as negligible as its an uninsurable item so he won't pay duty on it anyway. They've never had to pay anything at their end when I've sent things before.