With the Christmas shopping season about to hit full swing, a lot of consumers will head abroad, either literally or online, in order to track down some festive bargains. But, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has warned bargain-hunters to be on the lookout for unexpected charges that could add to the bill.
Those heading abroad or buying online from non-EU countries might find themselves subject to paying customs duty or import VAT if they're not careful, with strict limits being in place as to the type, value and quantities of goods brought back into the UK
Those cheaper prices might not be so cheap if you've got a hefty VAT bill to pay, so make sure to know your limits before you make your purchases:
Shoppers should always be aware of the limits unless they want to be hit by an unexpected bill. Head of customs policy at HMRC, Angela Shephard, has this message for consumers:
"We know that many people like to go abroad at this time to buy their Christmas gifts, or buy online from non-EU countries, and think that the 'cheaper' price they see is always the price they finally pay.
"This is a reminder to everyone about how much they can actually bring back from abroad or buy from an online seller without having to pay customs duty or import VAT."
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