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Need a little help challenging Fedex on wrongly invoiced Import/VAT for Exempt Gold Coin


BackyardBullion

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Howdy all,

Just looking for any help/support from anyone that has been through a similar situation with a courier company regarding the import of VAT exempt Gold coins to the UK. 

Bought and imported one a few weeks ago and the coin came no problems.  1 week after it arrived Fedex emails me an invoice for the VAT. 

The coin in question is the Rwandan Nautical 1 oz gold Sedov with denomination 100 Francs (this is important later).

As we know Gold Coins are exempt from VAT if they meet certain critera set out in this Guidance from:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/investment-gold-coins-and-vat-notice-70121a

The coin in question is 100 Francs and is actually listed on the coins that are specifically exempt on this document here: 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/946674/UK_Gold_List_Table__002__1.pdf

Despite numerous attempts to contact someone within Fedex UK Billing it appears impossible to do so as their call handling service just refers you to email them or go to their online billing. 

It has taken nearly 4 weeks now to get one single reply from them stating: 

"Having investigated the matter in more detail, this invoice has been issued correctly. It is a customs duty and tax invoice for a shipment that has been imported into Great Britain.

According to Great Britain customs laws, all imports from outside the UK are charged duties and taxes. The amount levied is based on the goods value, the shipping costs and the type of item being imported.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us."

That is just incorrect of course.

How do I escalate this, how do I resolve it? Do I have to pay FedEx and then claim it back from HMRC

A bit lost if I am being honest so any help would be much appreciated. 

Thanks
BYB

 

Visit my website for all my Hand Poured Silver: http://backyardbullion.com

And check out my YouTube channel 

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Hi @BackyardBullion

I recently went through a similar experience to this.

In summary, I purchased gold coins from Germany (delivered via UPS) and gold coins from Belgium (delivered via Fedex) and both couriers initially invoiced me for VAT.

Dealing with UPS was quite straightforward, in that they provided an Investment Gold Declaration form upon request, which once submitted together with an EORI Number, resulted in the fees being immediately waived.

I assumed (perhaps naively) that I could do the same for Fedex and prepared the same documentation in advance.

They, however, would simply not entertain this and refused to release the package until the invoice was paid in full prior to delivery, in spite of several attempts to reason with them over the fact that as investment-grade gold coins, there was no VAT to be paid.

In the end, I paid up in order to have the coins delivered, rather than shipped back to the seller.

I then submitted a claim for reimbursement via the following website:

www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-repayment-or-remission-of-import-duties-c285-chief

The form I completed was the C285 (CDS version), which I believe will also apply to you.

Apparently, it can take up to 4 weeks to receive reimbursement, so I’m actually still waiting for mine, having only submitted my application 2 weeks ago.

What became apparent from this experience is that there are actually no standardised procedures in place.

As @Jamesdmentioned, the courier companies are effectively doing whatever they want, and seem to have become far more brazen since Brexit, in this regard.

What's worse is that Fedex won't even inform you that you can reclaim VAT from HMRC on investment-grade gold coins after initially paying it, and have no formal process in place to facilitate this. It seems they simply don't care.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

Regards,

@NeutronJack

 

 

 

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@NeutronJack @Jamesd

This is why this forum is SO AMAZING

Thank you both for your help

I have resigned myself to the fact long ago that Fedex are completely useless. 

So, I have just paid the invoice they sent me and I will make that reclaim using the HMRC form. 

I have all the relevant documents needed so hopefully it will go smoothly but I am prepared for a bloody fight if need be. 

BYB RANT ON YOUTUBE WILL BE COMING SOON

Honestly, Brexit aside (even though a lot of the problems we have are because of Brexit) this whole situation is essentially high seas piracy and the amount of effort/stress and just common misunderstanding from general Joe Public almost gives licence to couriers like FedEx to levy these taxes incorrectly and then go and police themselves saying they are right when they are clearly wrong. 

It is a waste of everybody's time and is in my eyes systematic of the general stupidity that runs this country and this world.

It should not be like this in the 21st Century....

OK, forum rant over, YouTube rant will be filmed later ūüôā¬†

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And check out my YouTube channel 

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Also sharing this useful topic that was created by @Kookaburracollector as it could also be useful for other members :) 

 

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7 hours ago, BackyardBullion said:

Bought and imported one a few weeks ago and the coin came no problems.  1 week after it arrived Fedex emails me an invoice for the VAT. 

 

Hi BYB.  This happened to me in October 2018- I bought a 1/2oz Gold coin from the USA.  After it was delivered by Parcelforce, I received an invoice asking me to pay the VAT/ Import charges.  I simply ignored the letter and have heard nothing since.  

11 minutes ago, CollectForFun said:

I understand you already have the coin, so what could possibly happen if you don't pay their invoice? I assume that usually they don't deliver the package before they receive your payment, so it seems odd in your case that they request the payment afterwards, no?

I agree with @CollectForFun nothing can happen- the VAT was never due in the first place, as you already know.  It will be a pointless exercise paying the money over and then claiming it back- a waste of money to the taxpayer, by ignoring the invoice you are doing HMRC and all us taxpayers a favour.   

Edited by richatthecroft
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Well, theoretically they could take you to small claims court or to private debt collectors.

Just want things to be the way they should be.

Visit my website for all my Hand Poured Silver: http://backyardbullion.com

And check out my YouTube channel 

https://www.youtube.com/backyardbullion

 

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Also, I cannot be arsed with the hassle of defending such a case at small claims. Doing that yourself or with the help of a legal professional is going to cost money too. 

Visit my website for all my Hand Poured Silver: http://backyardbullion.com

And check out my YouTube channel 

https://www.youtube.com/backyardbullion

 

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13 minutes ago, BackyardBullion said:

Well, theoretically they could take you to small claims court or to private debt collectors.

Just want things to be the way they should be.

Yes, they could, and I certainly get why you want things to be as they should be, its never good to have this thing hanging over your head and its a worry.  

Having thought about it a bit more, I didn't just ignore it, I did worry somewhat-  I rang the HMRC, they were helpful and reassured me that whatever happened, I wouldn't be out of pocket (except the Parcelforce fee of course).  

Their advice was that next time I bought a Gold coin from abroad that I remind the seller to write the necessary exemption code on the Customs label prior to sending it- this makes sense of course.  

What I don't understand is why Gold dealers don't actually do what the HMRC suggest when they ship the coin in the first place.  

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3 minutes ago, richatthecroft said:

 

What I don't understand is why Gold dealers don't actually do what the HMRC suggest when they ship the coin in the first place.  

Ignorance, laziness, incompetence?

Take your pick

Visit my website for all my Hand Poured Silver: http://backyardbullion.com

And check out my YouTube channel 

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37 minutes ago, BackyardBullion said:

Well, theoretically they could take you to small claims court or to private debt collectors.

Just want things to be the way they should be.

Well, in this case FedEx does not request that money for themselves (do they charge also some handling fee?) - I assume they act merely as a collection agent for the tax office and that they don't pay from their own money to the authorities if they don't collect the amount from you.

So what I expect they may do is that they report you as a debtor to the tax authorities. And you should then be better able to defend your position in front of the tax authorities who should hopefully know the rules better. But of course, it may not be worth the uncertainty what may happen and I would fully understand if you decide to play it safe and just pay and then request refund.

But it could be also an interesting real life case study if you don't pay and then keep us informed of what happens next¬†‚ėļÔłŹ

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9 hours ago, CollectForFun said:

I understand you already have the coin, so what could possibly happen if you don't pay their invoice? I assume that usually they don't deliver the package before they receive your payment, so it seems odd in your case that they request the payment afterwards, no?

Goes to debt collectors 

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I had exactly the same situation earlier this year when buying gold Libertads from on of the German dealers. ¬†After ignoring the first two¬†demands (from FedEx via post and¬†GTSClearance@fedex.com) I got someone on the phone who told me to email them at UKinvoicequery@fedex.com with the info. ¬†I did all that , explaining that bullion is not subject to import taxes etc and sat back assuming all was solved. Then it all started up again with the debt collector mail! Thanks for the idea to reclaim via HMRC because I have to confess I just gave up in the end and paid the bloody invoices. As to whether it‚Äôs reasonable to expect foreign dealers to know the intricacies of the exemption codes ‚Ķdoubtful. But I would like them to use a bit more common sense - and be a bit more ‚Äúeconomical with the truth‚ÄĚ when describing contents! In that regard I do like the way most¬†US dealers are used to using bland packaging, and vague¬†words like ‚Äúmachine parts‚ÄĚ when shipping ūüėČ.¬†
Just part of the joys of PM collecting I guess. 

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I have this year had many coins stopped at customs and import duties and fees incorrectly applied.

FedEx would send items to me and then send invoice for duties and fees, but now hold items until duties are paid, I have had to claim back from HMRC this can take up to 8 months.

UPS are the worse, they simple lie, give false tracking and refuse to deliver until you pay, again I have claimed all duties back on every delivery.

These companies’ simply use Brexit as a way to charge handling fees.

If you fail to pay FedEx after 3 months they will send you a letter saying they are about to instruct a debt collection company to recover the monies plus additional costs.

All my coins are simple returns from PCGS after grading.

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Maybe Brexit has made a difference to how couriers handle UK imports from the EU. Back in Dec 2015 bought a few 1kg silver kooks from Silver-To-Go in Germany, VAT exempt scheme so VAT to pay, delivered without issue by UPS. Similar story for a small number of gold coins from CoinInvest also in Germany.

Not sure what I'd do in your situation. Probably pay up and claim back afterwards.

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 UPDATE

Was fed up with FedEx (totally pun intended) so I paid their invoice and have submitted a claim form to HMRC.

I replied to the email I received from FedEx telling me that VAT was due on all items and that I was wrong and must pay by simply saying, "Sorry Fedex, but you are wrong and I have told you why but you just seem to want to ignore the problem".

I have now had this reply:

Fedex.thumb.jpg.642d31ee1e93c172030d239ad5bf0228.jpg

So, let me get this straight. 

They said I was wrong, had to pay. 

Now they are forwarding it to the Brokerage Admin team to get me a refund/amendment and for this pleasure I am potentially liable for £63.60

Yeah, thats not going to happen.

Stupidest thing ever is that I STILL CANNOT SPEAK TO SOMEONE ON THE PHONE ABOUT THIS.

AAARRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Visit my website for all my Hand Poured Silver: http://backyardbullion.com

And check out my YouTube channel 

https://www.youtube.com/backyardbullion

 

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This issue must be extremely frustrating to deal with bearing in mind that there is a UK goverment issued document that clearly states the coins that are exempt from VAT and why Fedex appear to be ignorant to this government document ?

I know many companies now employ robotic staff working from a crib sheet to process their admin and paperwork that have no knowledge regarding exemptions from the basic application, this is certainly now true with my line of work in aviation and probably also with Fedex ?

Personally i try to always insist on using UPS as i have never had a problem with them using the gold declation form that a previous post mentioned. 

 

 

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Basically what they are saying here is that they will charge you a STUPIDLY high fee to get your VAT back

Daylight robbery.

The crazy thing is I cannot access my online billing account to remove my debit card information, I am genuinely about to call my bank and cancel my card so that they cannot charge me. 

Visit my website for all my Hand Poured Silver: http://backyardbullion.com

And check out my YouTube channel 

https://www.youtube.com/backyardbullion

 

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2 minutes ago, BackyardBullion said:

Basically what they are saying here is that they will charge you a STUPIDLY high fee to get your VAT back

Daylight robbery.

The crazy thing is I cannot access my online billing account to remove my debit card information, I am genuinely about to call my bank and cancel my card so that they cannot charge me. 

I have recently had the same with ShedEx and they relayed the same message its HMRC policy to charge everything... outrageous

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I know you don't want to do this, but your only option may be to pay the v.a.t and then hit them with country court papers for the reimbursement, plus your time spent on dealing with it, and 8% interest from the day of filing.

You have a cast iron case for reimbursement, and I suspect that they won't even acknowldge the filing, giving you a default win.  Even if they did respond. the case is heard in Hereford, which is your entitlement as a private plaintiff against a company.

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I used the FedEx Brokerage Admin team cost £53 to reclaim £500 that I had to pay to receive my coins, this took 3 months, HMRC agreed that no tax was due and refunded FedEx.

Another month gone and still have no refund from FedEx.

Beware they also may issue a credit note they have done this before.

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1 minute ago, marston59 said:

I used the FedEx Brokerage Admin team cost £53 to reclaim £500 that I had to pay to receive my coins, this took 3 months, HMRC agreed that no tax was due and refunded FedEx.

Another month gone and still have no refund from FedEx.

Beware they also may issue a credit note they have done this before.

Sounds like a total rip off to me, I have spent the better part of this afternoon trying to contact someone to get this resolved and them not to do anything for me on this case. 

I have already made a claim directly with HMRC and to pay £53 + VAT (£63.60) for this claim is not acceptable. 

So I have escalated this case to the senior managers within FedEx as nobody wants to actually speak to customers on the phone at the moment and it is very frustrating. 

I have also sent a pretty formal email reply informing them that they never had my consent for this work and do not have any consent for work to be carried out.

Shitshow from FedEx, really is awful. 

Visit my website for all my Hand Poured Silver: http://backyardbullion.com

And check out my YouTube channel 

https://www.youtube.com/backyardbullion

 

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UPDATE

Well, still not heard anything back from FedEx about the claim they are working on my behalf on claiming back the VAT - that claim I NEVER ASKED FOR or gave consent to do. 

I have had a letter from HMRC saying my refund is approved and I will have the money within 10 days. 

I rang FedEx yesterday to see what is happening, given the total run around again, they said my case is still open and that a manager was meant to ring me by Monday this week - but had not. This is now overdue as an escalation case but I still cannot speak with anyone about it and cannot get any answers as to whether FedEx are currently doing this work for me (again, never given permission or consent to actually do this). 

Totally ridiculous from FedEx. 

By the way, the £53+VAT charge for this is for what amounted to about 6 minutes of work filling out a form - a task they say can take up to 12 weeks to actually do...

100% I am expecting a bill from them at some point - and they will not get a bloody penny from me.

Visit my website for all my Hand Poured Silver: http://backyardbullion.com

And check out my YouTube channel 

https://www.youtube.com/backyardbullion

 

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