‘Incredible’ man charged hundreds in taxes after buying wine in Europe | Personal finance | Finance
Import taxes and customs duties can be costly when calculated correctly, but some Brits find themselves unnecessarily owing hundreds. Alan Edwards said he had been through this dilemma four times before, sharing his story with the Telegraph.
International purchases often require the buyer to pay taxes before the package can be delivered to their country.
Mr Edwards was charged £502 in customs duty and VAT on a £170 purchase in Portugal.
He also indicated that he only has seven days to pay this fee, otherwise the package will be sent back to the country of origin.
Knowing that this charge was entirely incorrect, he refused to pay it until it was reassessed.
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When he asked for the invoice, the courier company FedEx recalculated the charges and found he actually only owed £184.
The miscalculation would have seen Mr Edwards pay £318 more than necessary had he not disputed the bill.
However, he noted that this was not the first time he had been in this predicament.
He shared with the Telegraph: “It’s amazing.
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His original purchase cost £381, but after taxes and duties were added, his total was £650.74.
The Kent resident took his story to Telegraph Money and, following their involvement, was compensated £100.
A FedEx spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “After receiving two different clearance requests, we have recognized that there was an error in the calculation of duties and taxes and have amended the charges. Exceptional customer service is a top priority for FedEx. We apologize to Mr. Edwards for the inconvenience caused.
“The calculations for customs clearance are estimated on the information provided by the shipper. The actual cost of customs clearance which is determined upon entry into the country of destination may differ from the estimate. The reasons may be exchange rate differences, HMRC adjustments to duty rates and/or changes with the original information provided by the sender.”
A DHL Express spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “We would like to apologize to Mr Edwards. The invoice he received was incorrect due to an error in data entry and his experience in resolving the issue is below our normal high service standards. We will contact Mr Edwards as a priority to correct his invoices. Although this is an isolated issue, if anyone has any questions regarding the duty and VAT invoices they receive they can contact our Accounts Receivable team on 03442 480 777 and select the option 7 or email email@example.com.”