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European Taxes on coins


avroair
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I asked my tax accountant. In his opinion a sale would be valid enough if I can prove the payment from the person, the relevant invoice with complete address and also a proof for the shipment.

 

Because of this information I refunded the VAT to all my "world"-customers yesterday and today for all current orders. For future orders, you'll get coins always VAT-free at www.myGeocoin.de - Sepp & Bertas pink Coinshop ;-)

 

Claudia

aka Sepp & Berta

www.myGeocoin.de

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You are in principal correct. The question in doubt is, if invoice and bank transfer is accepted as "the export document" which proves that the goods have left the EU. We have to contact our lawyer.

 

Ok I checked with a friend who is a German accountant, she said. An invoice for the amount, postal receipt (proof of shipping) and address is accepted. What else would you need? A stamp from both the US and German customs oking the package into the US? :grin:

 

Please let me know when you have consulted your lawyer and when you will be issuing VAT refunds. (easily done through paypal) for my 2008 invoices. Thanks. ;)

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I asked my tax accountant. In his opinion a sale would be valid enough if I can prove the payment from the person, the relevant invoice with complete address and also a proof for the shipment.

 

Because of this information I refunded the VAT to all my "world"-customers yesterday and today for all current orders. For future orders, you'll get coins always VAT-free at www.myGeocoin.de - Sepp & Bertas pink Coinshop ;-)

 

Claudia

aka Sepp & Berta

www.myGeocoin.de

 

This is good but what about purchases made the beginning of the year? Ah, I had a purchase on 3/1 - if the VAT was added on to that one it would be nice to get the VAT back.

 

And the person who discussed Use Tax in the US - absolutely right - in my state - what I buy out of state - out of country - I am supposed to declare and pay the "uese tax".

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Hi Hollora,

I'm afraid, that paypal only allows to send refunds 6 weeks after the moneytransfer. Furthermore the problem is, that sales from before April have already completed in the bookkeeping. It would cost a lot of time and money to change this retroactive. Please remind me at your next order and I'll find a way to give you discount or a free item to your order to refund you the VAT that way :-)

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Firstly well done to myGeocoin.de for getting on to this and fixing so quickly, next time i have money for coins i will check out your site.

 

Further to my posts over the weekend i contacted a friend who works for an international company who deals with VAT refunds for international travellers, since she is in Ireland she gave me the e-mail for her counterpart in the german office (cos the Company that Avroair pm'd me was german).

 

His reply was

Because of the current legal situation <HIS COMPANY> does not offer the possibility of a refund for online purchases. But the online shop can give the tax rate directly as an additional discount to the customer if the shop is the sender and on condition that all documents are issued on the customers non-EU-address. For further information please ask your retailer.

 

So my reading of what he has said and obvoiusly what Sepp and Berta have been told by their advisors is "non-EU address NO VAT"

 

With regards to getting the money back, it will be very difficult to get it back from the on-line shop as they will already submitted their tax returns. but maybe Sepp and Berta could advise how to reclaime the VAT via the german VAT office.

 

Good Luck, i am now going to check out if i have been paying sales tax on my purchases for the US oin shops...

 

Ljay

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i am now going to check out if i have been paying sales tax on my purchases for the US oin shops...

 

Ljay

 

You haven't. Cause the only time we in the US even pay it is if the purchase is made in our own individual states.

 

Well, I have 9+ euro VAT for an online purchase made in February at geocoinshop.de and I DO want a refund. Whether they can easily do that or not is of no concern to me. I want money back!

Edited by AtlantaGal
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And we all take our fingers off the keyboard... step away from the computer... and take a deep breath...

 

It's unfortunate that VAT has been charged on non-EU orders when it apparently should not have been. This may, or may not be the stores fault directly - more likely they were given bad advice, which they follow and is how they have been running their business.

 

Right or wrong, everyone jumping up and down on them all at once is not going to achieve anything but negativity. Step back, take a breath, let the dust settle and let the vendor collect their thoughts. I am sure they will now seek to get the correct information and move to rectify any wrongs made.

 

** disclaimer - I am in no way associated with any geocoin shop/vendor other than being a sorry excuse for a geocoin addict, and therefore they supply my habit... um... errr... I meant to say I'm a customer of most of them. :unsure:

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i am now going to check out if i have been paying sales tax on my purchases for the US oin shops...

 

Ljay

 

You haven't. Cause the only time we in the US even pay it is if the purchase is made in our own individual states.

 

Well, I have 9+ euro VAT for an online purchase made in February at geocoinshop.de and I DO want a refund. Whether they can easily do that or not is of no concern to me. I want money back!

 

:unsure: I didn't think i would have and i haven't even looked at them.

I am avoiding all geocoin shops at the moment as i have spent more than this month's allowance...

 

Good Luck

Ljay

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Thank you for bringing this problem to the surface. I too have attempted to purchase coins a couple of times only to cancel the order and trade for the items once I saw the final cost.

 

It is nice to see that these companies are doing what they can to research and correct any errors.

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i am now going to check out if i have been paying sales tax on my purchases for the US oin shops...

 

Ljay

 

You haven't. Cause the only time we in the US even pay it is if the purchase is made in our own individual states.

 

Well, I have 9+ euro VAT for an online purchase made in February at geocoinshop.de and I DO want a refund. Whether they can easily do that or not is of no concern to me. I want money back!

 

:D I didn't think i would have and i haven't even looked at them.

I am avoiding all geocoin shops at the moment as i have spent more than this month's allowance...

 

Good Luck

Ljay

 

As AtlantaGal said, online sale tax in the US is charged only if you live in the same state as where you are buying from. The sales tax varies from state to state with a few (such as Oregon) having no sale tax at all.

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i am now going to check out if i have been paying sales tax on my purchases for the US oin shops...

 

Ljay

 

You haven't. Cause the only time we in the US even pay it is if the purchase is made in our own individual states.

 

:anibad: I didn't think i would have and i haven't even looked at them.

 

As AtlantaGal said, online sale tax in the US is charged only if you live in the same state as where you are buying from. The sales tax varies from state to state with a few (such as Oregon) having no sale tax at all.

 

But you will have to pay the tax eventually. You are required to report your out of state/country purchases to the relevant local authority (Department of Revenue, etc) and pay your 'use tax'.

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i am now going to check out if i have been paying sales tax on my purchases for the US oin shops...

 

Ljay

 

You haven't. Cause the only time we in the US even pay it is if the purchase is made in our own individual states.

 

:anibad: I didn't think i would have and i haven't even looked at them.

 

As AtlantaGal said, online sale tax in the US is charged only if you live in the same state as where you are buying from. The sales tax varies from state to state with a few (such as Oregon) having no sale tax at all.

 

But you will have to pay the tax eventually. You are required to report your out of state/country purchases to the relevant local authority (Department of Revenue, etc) and pay your 'use tax'.

7% US here is better then 19% EU which is about 29% US in the conversion process.

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7% US here is better then 19% EU which is about 29% US in the conversion process.

 

OK - well I was never noted for my brilliance in numeracy but how does 19% tax in any currency convert to 29% tax when converted to US Dollars ?? :grin:

Well I hope I have this right myself. I looked at it as 19% tax on 100 EU is 19 EU. So I am getting charged an extra 19 EU. 19 EU * 1.6 conversion comes out to 30.4 EU in taxes. So they charge me an extra 30.4% tax when I could pay my local 7% tax. Clear as mud, right? :anibad:

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7% US here is better then 19% EU which is about 29% US in the conversion process.

 

OK - well I was never noted for my brilliance in numeracy but how does 19% tax in any currency convert to 29% tax when converted to US Dollars ?? :anibad:

Well I hope I have this right myself. I looked at it as 19% tax on 100 EU is 19 EU. So I am getting charged an extra 19 EU. 19 EU * 1.6 conversion comes out to 30.4 EU in taxes. So they charge me an extra 30.4% tax when I could pay my local 7% tax. Clear as mud, right? :(

 

Argh - I see your reasoning now, I think :grin:

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7% US here is better then 19% EU which is about 29% US in the conversion process.

 

OK - well I was never noted for my brilliance in numeracy but how does 19% tax in any currency convert to 29% tax when converted to US Dollars ?? :anibad:

Well I hope I have this right myself. I looked at it as 19% tax on 100 EU is 19 EU. So I am getting charged an extra 19 EU. 19 EU * 1.6 conversion comes out to 30.4 EU in taxes. So they charge me an extra 30.4% tax when I could pay my local 7% tax. Clear as mud, right? :(

 

Argh - I see your reasoning now, I think :grin:

 

If you calculate like that you would also have to convert the 100 EU as well, which makes 160 und you will end up with 19%. As the name already tells, you won't get absolute numbers but a fraction of the whole.

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Still waiting to hear what geocoinshop.de's lawyer had to say as I would like the VAT paid refunded.

 

Just my 2 cents worth - it is clear that you should not have to pay tax, you should be given an immediate refund, a lawyer isn't needed to determine that much. It is then up to the retailer to sort out their tax situation with or without the use of a lawyer/accountant.

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I'm not a tax expert by any means...

 

But have a look at the UK V.A.T regulations here VAT Regs

 

One has to registered as a business and for VAT before being able to reclaim VAT paid on imported goods.

 

So the individual cacher importing coins for a local group or a charity will have to pay the dreaded VAT (17.5% in the UK) on import into the EU and has little choice but to add it to the coins price.

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I'm not a tax expert by any means...

 

But have a look at the UK V.A.T regulations here VAT Regs

 

One has to registered as a business and for VAT before being able to reclaim VAT paid on imported goods.

 

So the individual cacher importing coins for a local group or a charity will have to pay the dreaded VAT (17.5% in the UK) on import into the EU and has little choice but to add it to the coins price.

 

This is true, and in th UK you can only be registered for VAT if your business earns over a certain amount of money (I think about £12,000), that would put many coin sellers out of the equation, and they have no choice but to pass on the cost of the tax.

 

Ness.

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I'm not a tax expert by any means...

 

But have a look at the UK V.A.T regulations here VAT Regs

 

One has to registered as a business and for VAT before being able to reclaim VAT paid on imported goods.

 

So the individual cacher importing coins for a local group or a charity will have to pay the dreaded VAT (17.5% in the UK) on import into the EU and has little choice but to add it to the coins price.

 

This is true, and in th UK you can only be registered for VAT if your business earns over a certain amount of money (I think about £12,000), that would put many coin sellers out of the equation, and they have no choice but to pass on the cost of the tax.

 

Ness.

 

We're speaking of germany, not the UK.

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This thread is of great interest to me because I have limited my purchasing from the German WebShop due to the included VAT.

 

I have a question. I was looking over my 3 orders with this shop, 1 made in 2007 and 2 so far in 2008. My 2007 order has no mention of the VAT. Is anyone aware if this shop only started charging the VAT this year? Or was it just an unwritten hidden charge in 2007?

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This thread is of great interest to me because I have limited my purchasing from the German WebShop due to the included VAT.

 

I have a question. I was looking over my 3 orders with this shop, 1 made in 2007 and 2 so far in 2008. My 2007 order has no mention of the VAT. Is anyone aware if this shop only started charging the VAT this year? Or was it just an unwritten hidden charge in 2007?

 

Quote from previous post for geocoinshop.de

 

Please let us the Geocoinshop try to make things clear.

 

In 2007 we were not bound to pay VAT to our state, therefor our invoices did not include VAT and you didn't have to pay either.

In 2008 now we are bounded to pay VAT (the same as all the other shops) to our country.

(to make it clear: the VAT is not going into our pocket, but has to be paid to the country.)

Until now, our laywer told us, that we have no chance to get rid of it.

Therefor our customers (even outside the EU) have to pay and we have to forward to our country.

Nevertheless we see and wonder that some shops skipped their VAT.

Presently we think they are acting not correct. We are going to check, if their is a chance to skip the VAT.

If yes you can be sure to get a refund for 2008.

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thank you very much for your email. Unfortunately we have to charge 19% VAT also for orders outside of the EU. The reason for that is, that we do not have any receipt, that our products were shipped outside of the European Union. If we had this receipt we wouldn’t have to charge it, but it is very expensive to ship with this receipt."

 

Here in Ontario we have to charge the tax IF picked up in person. If it is shipped to another address outside of Ontario NO TAX. Give me a break on the receipt argument, you can prove you did not sell it to someone locally as you have your shipping info to show this took place. The key thing is that the customer does not get the goods until they are delivered to the address outside of Ontario. Buying in person and putting your home address as another province does not cut it. You have to ship directly. If I buy from a store in BC, I don't pay the BC sales tax *IF* I have it shipped to me in Ontario. If I am in BC and buy in person while on vacation I have to *PAY* it as I am buying in person.

 

Jim

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Really I'm not sticking up for any shop that's unfairly charging taxes that it shouldn't - BUT - Europe is not a State of the USA or Canada. You really can't quote what happens in Ontario or Texas and automatically expect the same to happen in Germany, it's a different country operating under its own laws.

 

Just saying - that's all :laughing:

 

Right but when you have one vendor in Germany doing things one way and another vendor in Germany doing things another one begins to wonder....

 

So no reply yet. Hmm....

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Really I'm not sticking up for any shop that's unfairly charging taxes that it shouldn't - BUT - Europe is not a State of the USA or Canada. You really can't quote what happens in Ontario or Texas and automatically expect the same to happen in Germany, it's a different country operating under its own laws.

 

Just saying - that's all :laughing:

 

Right but when you have one vendor in Germany doing things one way and another vendor in Germany doing things another one begins to wonder....

 

So no reply yet. Hmm....

 

Oh - indeed - I quite agree...

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i didn't really check my invoice from gecoinshop.de until just now and there was no vat but holy cow, the shipping for two coins was about $12.00. that is exhorbitant! i don't recall that much on the web site. going to stick to US coins or ebay from now on.

 

lara

 

I don't think that this is the shop's fault. After sending some coins to the US I know that the german mail is really expensive when it comes to shipping outside Europe. If you bought two larger coins so that the whole envelope weighs more than 100 grams (approx. 3.5 oz) they will charge 8 Euros, which is close to $12.

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From my perspective here in Denmark, Europe, you Americans seem very lucky. You are probably correct that you do, indeed, have the legal right to NOT pay European VAT on your online purchases. Whether or not the seller is able to figure out how not to charge it on your purchases, is up to the seller. In the case of geocoinshop.de, I can only recommend this webshop, having bought quite a considerable number of coins from them already. However, as this shop is one of the largest operators on the European market, I do actually feel that your request that they figure out how to not charge VAT on out-of-EU orders, is by now quite justified. Personally, of course, I am quite happy to pay the 19% German VAT as this is cheaper than the 25% Danish VAT I would otherwise have to pay.

 

Importing coins from the US into Europe is quite a different matter. Whereas the Americans have a legal right not to pay VAT, I, on the contrary, have a legal obligation to pay 25% import VAT on my purchases. Fortunately the Customs Department of Post Danmark (Danish Mail) kindly helps me meet that obligation by providing a customs handling service which ensures that I do not get my package until I pay whatever amount of VAT that they have figured out I must pay. Plus, in some cases, an additional customs charge of about 2-3%. For this service, I am charged a flat fee of approx. $32, no matter the value of the shipment. Did I mention that the $32 fee does include VAT of the fee itself? Or that the value of the package (of which the 25% VAT is calculated) is calculated as the declared value PLUS the actual postage used by the sender? Or that the customs handling procedure usually takes from 1 to 3 weeks?

 

If anyone detects a tiny spot of irony in the above paragraph, they are absolutely correct. Seriously, I have the following request that I rutinely make of anyone shipping geocoins from the US to Denmark:

 

Could you please:

1. Use the smallest possible physical package. Large packages are much more likely to receive the full customs handling procedure.

2. Tick "item is a gift" or "other" on customs label (note that customs labels are only required for packages weighing one pound or more).

3. Declare a very low value, like "$10", irrespective of the actual value.

4. Do not include any invoice or any other paperwork whatsoever in the package. Packages are rutinely opened by customs and the value determined either from the label or any invoice that may be found.

5. Use a private, not business, sender address.

 

I have found that the large majority of US sellers are happy to comply with these wishes. A very few tell me that they do not wish to do this for moral reasons, in which case I tell them to do as they please, and go ahead with the transaction anyway.

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2. Tick "item is a gift" or "other" on customs label (note that customs labels are only required for packages weighing one pound or more).

 

 

I have found that it is best to use this form for all shipments. They reach their destination faster. Without these forms, some coin packages have taken months to arrive. Plus some countries like the UK want them on every parcel. It's too difficult to remember each individual country's rules.

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2. Tick "item is a gift" or "other" on customs label (note that customs labels are only required for packages weighing one pound or more).

 

 

I have found that it is best to use this form for all shipments. They reach their destination faster. Without these forms, some coin packages have taken months to arrive. Plus some countries like the UK want them on every parcel. It's too difficult to remember each individual country's rules.

 

the US Demands it the other way as well

Canada demands a return address clearly on the envelope

yet in the EEC nothing is needed

 

I must admit some taxes are unjust but unfortunately it is one of lifes certainties. What I object to as some of you already know :) is overly high postage from suppliers. Some are great but hey $25 to put in an interrnational mailer can be a bit steep!!!!

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Strange that nobody has been able to state the simple facts :

 

1) Goods sold and sent from any European Union country to any other European Union country carry VAT.

2) Goods sold and sent from any European Union country to customers outside the European Union carry NO VAT

 

Conclusion : an EU shop should never charge VAT on goods sent to the US. Full stop.

 

It does not matter whether it is from Germany, Denmark or the UK, this is European Union legislation, applicable to all member states.

 

Cheers

 

Ellandel

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If my accountant/lawyer didn't resolve a relativitely simple question (it is their job after all) within 3-5 weeks, then i would sack them and get a better one. :D

 

Just how long does it take to find out one way or another?

 

I hope this question is answered soon, so i can purchase a couple coins. :D

 

mm

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Strange that nobody has been able to state the simple facts :

1) Goods sold and sent from any European Union country to any other European Union country carry VAT.

2) Goods sold and sent from any European Union country to customers outside the European Union carry NO VAT

Conclusion : an EU shop should never charge VAT on goods sent to the US. Full stop.

 

It does not matter whether it is from Germany, Denmark or the UK, this is European Union legislation, applicable to all member states.

 

Cheers

 

Ellandel

 

Those were my thoughts. So has there been any results from any of the European stores?

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One of the European Vendors that I buy from has dropped the VAT for Orders to the US (and others I'm sure) and I have made several purchases from them and will continue to do so.

 

The other has NOT dropped the VAT and, while I admire their coin selection, I WILL NOT be purchasing any of their coins until they do!! :blink:

Edited by Sunrayers
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Strange that nobody has been able to state the simple facts :

 

1) Goods sold and sent from any European Union country to any other European Union country carry VAT.

2) Goods sold and sent from any European Union country to customers outside the European Union carry NO VAT

 

Conclusion : an EU shop should never charge VAT on goods sent to the US. Full stop.

 

It does not matter whether it is from Germany, Denmark or the UK, this is European Union legislation, applicable to all member states.

 

Cheers

 

Ellandel

 

Sucsinctly put Ellandel. Whilst I don't have a particular axe to grind over this, being a UK resident, I have to pay the tax anyway, but I think it is a pretty poor show that a coin vendor appears to be unable to resolve this matter in a timely manner. A vendor, I might add, that does not give details about minting numbers and when a particular coin proves popular on ebay - out pops another minting, not once, not twice but over and over again. I think I will vote with my finger now, and click delete from my list of vendors.

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A vendor, I might add, that does not give details about minting numbers and when a particular coin proves popular on ebay - out pops another minting, not once, not twice but over and over again.

 

Even LEs that were originally priced higher and had a set minting amount posted! (Lord of the Cache Earth BN as an example).

 

I'd still like my VAT refunded on a February personal order and 3 2008 joint orders with other US cachers.

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