Paying VAT on new German import

May 19, 2014
119
180
Basingstoke
Funster No
31,543
MH
A-class
Exp
Since 2005
Now I'm confused. All I have researched suggests you HAVE to pay VAT in the UK. If you pay VAT in Germany first then you have to pay 2 lots of VAT (a big sum!) before providing proof to German dealer of UK VAT paid, whereupon they will refund German VAT in euros.

To avoid paying twice (a cashflow problem, but not a trivial one) one potential way is to provide the German dealer with a euro cheque for VAT which he won't cash (and might bounce if he did!) until he receives proof of UK VAT payment whereupon the cheque is ripped up. That is obviously at the dealer's discretion and mine won't.

The other way is to pay the UK VAT up front and provide proof to the German dealer who won't then charge you German VAT.

OK, sorted, so I checked this afternoon with the HMRC VAT helpline to ask about the mechanics of pre-paying VAT and was told I don't need to - if I provide them with proof on notification by the NOVA process I won't pay VAT twice.

Brilliant! Other than I don't believe the helpline and can't find anything to corroborate this statement on their VAT notices :-(

What say you?

Thanks,

Dave
 

Puddleduck

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 15, 2014
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Don't trust anything the VAT helpline tell you, get it in writing.
 

DBK

Jan 9, 2013
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I may be missing something here but Germany is in the EU so if you buy something there then you don't have to pay vat when you bring it back to the UK. It is the opposite of what I did when living in Kuwait when, with the right form, I could claim back the VAT when leaving the UK from Heathrow after buying say a computer in London. Within the EU you should not pay twice. The downside I guess is the German vat rate (mervestauer?) is higher than the UK rate. So you would benefit if you could only pay the UK vat, if that can be done.
 
OP
DABurleigh
May 19, 2014
119
180
Basingstoke
Funster No
31,543
MH
A-class
Exp
Since 2005
Germany is 19%, UK 20%.

VAT Notice 728 para 3.17 says "Note that in some Member States the supplier may take a refundable deposit equivalent to the VAT which is refunded once you have paid the VAT in the destination state."

Which is exactly what the dealer insists upon unless I can provide proof of pre-paid in UK. And HMRC says I don't have to.

Having just been going around in circles between different arms of Barclays today, all I need is another stand-off between VAT in UK and Germany :-(

Dave
 

DBK

Jan 9, 2013
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Puddleduck

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Jan 15, 2014
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The VAT notice is the one to go by. I wouldn't trust the help line as far as you could spit. They are generalists not specialists and read off the notice they have at hand.
 
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DABurleigh
May 19, 2014
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One of my pet hates is someone spouting authoritatively a load of crap. I'd love the helpline to be right, but I'd now put money they are wrong :-(
 

Puddleduck

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When I was building this house I rang the specialist self-builders VAT help line and they gave me information from a leaflet that was years out of date........ I quoted the new leaflet to them and made them go and find one. Go by the written word and you have something you can refer back to.

For a simple tax VAT is very complex.
 
OP
DABurleigh
May 19, 2014
119
180
Basingstoke
Funster No
31,543
MH
A-class
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Since 2005
It's strange how some of my most frustrating dealings with organisations and businesses centres on them refusing to take my money!

I'll insist on this tack before meekly paying twice. I just need proof the HMRC have the money I want to give them, then I'll only pay once.
 

twerly

Free Member
Nov 3, 2013
12
7
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I'm a newbie
Hi,

I imported last year from Germany, was pretty simple, paid the German VAT at 19% and then as soon as drove back to the UK completed the online NOVA process, initially this tried to say I must pay VAT again, however after providing proof this was cleared and NOVA process was completed OK. Now the DVLC registration was a nightmare, this took weeks of heartache. Initial form was rejected, even the formal Certificate of Conformity from Hymer was rejected. Second attempt was OK. Problem is with-out registration you can not insure fully or tax, so beware. Have a search on this site as there is an excellent walkthrough

http://www.motorhomefun.co.uk/forum/threads/importing-a-frankia-motorhome.81297/

I would do it again, VAT and NOVA simple, DVLA not so

Good luck

Steve
 

Johns_Cross_Motorhomes

Trader - Motorhome & Accessory Sales
Jan 5, 2008
9,612
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Why do you actually bother with all the grief of inporting when there are NOW a number of dealers distributing Hymer in the UK.

Far easier if you have a warranty problem and you are suporting the UK not Germany

Peter
 
OP
DABurleigh
May 19, 2014
119
180
Basingstoke
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MH
A-class
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Peter the only UK NB dealer wouldn't provide me with any info on the similar van they had. They wanted me to travel there, confident I'd love it. No spec, no interior photos, no knowledge of the van other than "I'd love it". I told them I would not travel for many hours on a whim, so please give me a specification/options list and interior photos. They told me they were too busy but would get around to it. Never heard from them again. Life's too short, so I selected from an abundant, well-described choice in Germany. The UK van still sits on their forecourt. Businesses make their own luck.

Steve, so you confirm that via NOVA (what was the nuance for them to accept German VAT paid?) you did NOT have to pay VAT twice, and simply paid the German VAT at 19%?
I'll cross the DVLA bridge when I come to it - what went wrong the first time and how was it fixed the second time? Yes, I'd printed off the Frankia import thread weeks ago - very helpful.

Many thanks for these helpful contributions.

Dave
 

twerly

Free Member
Nov 3, 2013
12
7
Warwickshire
Funster No
28,869
MH
Hymer A Class
Exp
I'm a newbie
Hi Dave,

correct, I paid German VAT at 19%, as this is EU it is 100% legal. I just made sure I had the invoices etc that prove this was paid.We had a great adventure, fantastic helpful dealer and made a mini holiday of our journey home

Per per the previous post there is one very good reason for importing, well twelve thousand very good reasons £££. Had absolutely no problems with the MH since our return, even if I had to pay for something that would normally be under warranty I do not care as saved so much. I agree importing is not for everyone and you do need to complete lot's of paperwork, however in our experience it was well worth the effort. :)

Regards
Steve
 

Theonlysue

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Sep 14, 2009
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Not long enough!
You could buy a warranty for a few hundred pounds if you needed one.
They're not expensive.
 
OP
DABurleigh
May 19, 2014
119
180
Basingstoke
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Since 2005
Steve,

Well you calmed me over one wrangle, so I'll try my luck with another! Did you have your mini-holiday with a new van on 3rd party insurance or did you somehow crack the comprehensive insurance? Presumably on export plates?

Dave
 
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