I'm afraid VAT rules are a nightmare for sellers and buyers. The problem he has is in proving to HMRC that the goods actually went to Australia which on the face of it seems easy, not always the case when dealing with goverment departments. No excuse for not responding to your emails though, thats just bad customer service. For what it's worth it's no different when we buy from Scotts Auto Rubber. The Royal Mail put a card through your door and will not deliver the parcel until you have been along and paid the VAT, they also charge you a "handling fee" for themselves. The sooner we get a trade deal with Australia the better (I think) it will be, I'd rather pay your GST which I think is 10% than our 20% VAT. You know what they say about death & taxes!
Ebay does the charging, as per HMRC regulations. All business sellers, if VAT registered, have to provide their details to ebay, who then notify HMRC. They're trying to combat fraud, but it's all turned into a bit of a mess, with a lot of business sellers walking away.
If you want to claim the VAT portion back, you'll have to approach HMRC directly.
If you'd purchased them from a business directly, they would have zero rated the VAT and marked it for export - which would then be marked on the import forms, so that Australian Customs could charge you themselves.
We shouldn't be advising people to avoid a seller, simply for following the rules.
Understood re opinions . Thats why I only stated facts. The purchases were made on ebay.com.au, so it should not have charged VAT in the first place. Maybe the seller did not set things up properly? And the fact that I have had no response to my feedback inviting them to fix the issue seems to me to show they dont care. Cant find an operation of that name in UK so far.
Never had any trouble with our UK based Rover suppliers removing VAT from their charges. Yes, our VAT/GST is 10%, and in theory they should be charging it as parcels arrive, but its rare on low value packages. Some foreign ebay sellers do add the 10%, but the odds are they never remit it to our tax office.
AddressKCP Car & Commercial Ltd
9 Hillside Business Park
Bury St Edmunds
Phone01284 760126 / 750777Fax01284 750773Contact personPaul WhitingEmailkcponline@yahoo.co.uk
A small aside....recently I bought some electrical components directly (ie not Ebay) from a UK supplier (not Rover specific), late afternoon Oz time. When I got the order confirmation email it showed a VAT charge. I replied pointing this out. Within a few hours I got an email apologizing, and a refund. Will keep using this supplier.