T4 Tax free shopping - beware !

Old Dec 5, 06, 11:22 am
  #1  
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T4 Tax free shopping - beware !

It's tax free prices for all at T4, so it doesn't matter if you are flying outside the EU (in which case the goods are sold without VAT) or flying within the EU. In this case you still buy at the tax free price, but the retailer swallows the cost of the VAT, so netting only 82.5% of the purchase price.

Obviously the retailer loses out if it sells to passengers flying in the EU. So... beware a certain electrical goods retailer, that has found an easy way to get around this.

I bought a few Christmas presents as I flew out to AMS on Sunday, taking advantage of the 17.5% discount and knowing the goods would have been bought duty-paid, as I was flying within the EU. Right? Wrong!

This dodgy retailer doesn't even ask for your BP, they simply put in the next non-EU flight, in my case JFK. I didn't notice till later that the till receipt has BA 54/JFK on it.

How I know this wasn't a mistake? Because I went back and bought something else, and was served by a different salesperson who did the same thing. In fact, the same flight number appeared on my receipt.

Not a big deal I guess, except technically I could probably have been liable for tax on those goods on the return to the UK.

Beware when buying bigger items that the EU destination does show on your reecipt, as proof that you have bought the goods tax paid.

Last edited by Smirnoff; Dec 5, 06 at 11:51 am
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Old Dec 5, 06, 11:26 am
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Well naughty... innit!
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Old Dec 5, 06, 11:34 am
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I'm tempted to report this to the BBC or Sky News or one of the national newspapers. This is VAT fraud on a massive scale by one of the country's leading retailers.
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Old Dec 5, 06, 11:55 am
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I just added the flight number in post no.1, as I checked the till receipts and they say :

Dest Code: JFK
Flight No: BA54

Thank you for your custom.....

followed by a warning that if your destination is outside the EU you may have to pay VAT when you return to the UK.


Funny thing is.... there is no BA54 to JFK (that's a JNB-LHR flight).
Two separate sales staff input the same fictitious flight number. Without even thinking about it.
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Old Dec 5, 06, 11:59 am
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Ah, these Saturday salesmen ...

One way around this if you want to be clean might be to use the leave-it-at-BAA facility - and change your mind at the last minute after they'd used the till. You'd have the satisfaction of knowing VAT is paid.
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Old Dec 5, 06, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by PhilH View Post
I'm tempted to report this to the BBC or Sky News or one of the national newspapers. This is VAT fraud on a massive scale by one of the country's leading retailers.
I agree. That is just disgraceful.
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Old Dec 5, 06, 12:23 pm
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Here or here perhaps?
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Old Dec 5, 06, 12:27 pm
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Put it this way, if I got stopped on the way into the UK to pay VAT on this I think it would be obvious to the Customs agent what had happened and the retailer would be in deep water, not me!

Actually uncle Smirn you may have unearthed something pretty serious here, clearly these staff are being trained to do this, perhaps you should go undercover and infiltrate them, then you could get to be on the 'telly
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Old Dec 5, 06, 12:30 pm
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Wonder if the staff get additional commission for selling products to passengers on non-EU flights? In any case this looks dodgy to me, and easy for them to do as the checks on the blue channel are pretty much non-existent, and the passenger would be able to prove their travel pattern.
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Old Dec 5, 06, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Smirnoff View Post
It's tax free prices for all at T4, so it doesn't matter if you are flying outside the EU (in which case the goods are sold without VAT) or flying within the EU. In this case you still buy at the tax free price, but the retailer swallows the cost of the VAT, so netting only 82.5% of the purchase price.

Obviously the retailer loses out if it sells to passengers flying in the EU. So... beware a certain electrical goods retailer, that has found an easy way to get around this.

I bought a few Christmas presents as I flew out to AMS on Sunday, taking advantage of the 17.5% discount and knowing the goods would have been bought duty-paid, as I was flying within the EU. Right? Wrong!

This dodgy retailer doesn't even ask for your BP, they simply put in the next non-EU flight, in my case JFK. I didn't notice till later that the till receipt has BA 54/JFK on it.

How I know this wasn't a mistake? Because I went back and bought something else, and was served by a different salesperson who did the same thing. In fact, the same flight number appeared on my receipt.

Not a big deal I guess, except technically I could probably have been liable for tax on those goods on the return to the UK.

Beware when buying bigger items that the EU destination does show on your reecipt, as proof that you have bought the goods tax paid.
I think you should march right down to HM Revenue and Customs and demand to pay that tax in full.
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Old Dec 5, 06, 12:36 pm
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Originally Posted by jedison View Post
I think you should march right down to HM Revenue and Customs and demand to pay that tax in full.
Am I guilty of tax evasion if I don't?

Imagine if I checked my receipts before I re-entered the UK (thank goodness I didn't ) and knowingly brought goods into the UK on which VAT had not been charged.
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Old Dec 5, 06, 12:38 pm
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I'm sure you will voluntarily declare it later. In the meentime those £10 voucher thignies I have printed off, has anyone used them yet. You see I fancy one of those Jorge Jensen alarm clock thingies and wondered if I handed over 4 vouchers in one go whtehr I woul get it for free?
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Old Dec 5, 06, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by VC10 Boy View Post
I'm sure you will voluntarily declare it later. In the meentime those £10 voucher thignies I have printed off, has anyone used them yet. You see I fancy one of those Jorge Jensen alarm clock thingies and wondered if I handed over 4 vouchers in one go whtehr I woul get it for free?

PUTI'd I think
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Old Dec 5, 06, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by BAGoldBoy View Post
PUTI'd I think
Er Actually I have been hard at work today being entertained at the Merrill Lynch Black Roack Masters in the Royal Albert Hall thank you very much. The things I do for the firm.
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Old Dec 5, 06, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by VC10 Boy View Post
Er Actually I have been hard at work today being entertained at the Merrill Lynch Black Roack Masters in the Royal Albert Hall thank you very much. The things I do for the firm.
So the poor spelling wan't caused by alcohol ? I'm shocked and sorry to hear you had to work so hard today - why not take tomorrow off to recharge your batteries?
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