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Old 13.11.2015, 11:30
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ASOS.com charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

Hi guys,


I have an interesting question. I am a regular shopper at ASOS.com and it appears that they in fact charge non-EU customers the exact same prices as the UK, with no VAT deductions. When I Googled the issue I found threads discussing it saying they had received replies from ASOS that said: http://www.vogue.com.au/forums/showt...age=6&t=364943

Quote:
"Thanks for your request for a VAT refund.

If we may explain, exports are treated as zero-rate VAT. This means that whilst it is chargeable, it is at a rate of 0%. Consequently, as no VAT would have been paid to HMRC or any other tax jurisdiction, there is no refund to pass on to you.

In the past, ASOS has credited accounts to the value of VAT as a gesture of goodwill, however we have ceased this practice to ensure there is parity in our service.

We realise this may be disappointing news for you, however with our investments in delivery and returns services as well as our ever expanding range of exciting brands, we hope you will continue to shop with ASOS.com.

Thank you for your email."
I really do not understand how this can be legal. They are charging the exact same priuces as UK customers, yet saying that none of the additional is going to the HRMC? Then what is happening to the money?


I have of course emailed them to clarify this as I have a huge backlog of orders that I have clearly paid VAT on. All I could find on their website regarding this was: http://asos.custhelp.com/app/answers...e-of-the-eu%3F


"VAT is not included in our prices for customers outside of the EU."


However that is clearly not the case, as the prices are the same as the UK no matter which country you ship to (I have tested using CH and UK delivery addresses)!


So, what are your thoughts on this... as to me it seems like it's not technically legit?

Last edited by Richdog; 13.11.2015 at 11:55.
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Old 13.11.2015, 11:35
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Re: ASOS.com committing tax fraud by charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

I guess their argument is that they're charging more for the goods for exports outside the EU.

EU : "Our Price" = £120 = £100 + £20 VAT
CH : "Our Price" = £120 = £120 + no VAT

Next used to do that (maybe still do). It's pretty crappy. Vote with your wallet.
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Old 13.11.2015, 11:50
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Re: ASOS.com committing tax fraud by charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

I don't see the problem (although I can understand that you'd be happier with a 17.5% discount )

At the end of the day, it's up to ASOS to decide what their pricing policy for foreign customers is. Especially given their 'free delivery worldwide' option and the extra effort it *may* take to ship a package abroad, I can understand why there is a nominal difference in price for non-EU customers...

In comparison to Zara, H&M, Massimo Dutti and co., who often double their online prices for Swiss customers, ASOS don't seem to be too unreasonable (in my opinion).

Now if only their t-shirts would fit normal human beings....
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Old 13.11.2015, 11:57
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Re: ASOS.com committing tax fraud by charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

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I don't see the problem (although I can understand that you'd be happier with a 17.5% discount )

At the end of the day, it's up to ASOS to decide what their pricing policy for foreign customers is. Especially given their 'free delivery worldwide' option and the extra effort it *may* take to ship a package abroad, I can understand why there is a nominal difference in price for non-EU customers...

In comparison to Zara, H&M, Massimo Dutti and co., who often double their online prices for Swiss customers, ASOS don't seem to be too unreasonable (in my opinion).

Now if only their t-shirts would fit normal human beings....
But if that is the case then why have they in the past offered multiple "goodwill VAT discounts" to non-EU customers who have complained, if they technically have no requirement to? And why do my received invoices within the packaging state VAT on them?
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Old 13.11.2015, 12:00
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Re: ASOS.com committing tax fraud by charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

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Next used to do that (maybe still do). It's pretty crappy. Vote with your wallet.
Next don't do that anymore but Marks and Spencer's do.
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Old 13.11.2015, 12:11
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Re: ASOS.com charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

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Hi guys,


I have an interesting question. I am a regular shopper at ASOS.com and it appears that they in fact charge non-EU customers the exact same prices as the UK, with no VAT deductions. When I Googled the issue I found threads discussing it saying they had received replies from ASOS that said: http://www.vogue.com.au/forums/showt...age=6&t=364943

I really do not understand how this can be legal. They are charging the exact same priuces as UK customers, yet saying that none of the additional is going to the HRMC? Then what is happening to the money?


I have of course emailed them to clarify this as I have a huge backlog of orders that I have clearly paid VAT on. All I could find on their website regarding this was: http://asos.custhelp.com/app/answers...e-of-the-eu%3F


"VAT is not included in our prices for customers outside of the EU."


However that is clearly not the case, as the prices are the same as the UK no matter which country you ship to (I have tested using CH and UK delivery addresses)!


So, what are your thoughts on this... as to me it seems like it's not technically legit?
Perfectly legal, they charge some customers a higher price.
Business's are there to make money for shareholders, charging what the market will accept has been the way of doing business for a very long time.

There is no legal requirement for you to buy from them, there is no legal requirement for them to accept your order.
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Old 13.11.2015, 12:13
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Re: ASOS.com committing tax fraud by charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

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But if that is the case then why have they in the past offered multiple "goodwill VAT discounts" to non-EU customers who have complained, if they technically have no requirement to? And why do my received invoices within the packaging state VAT on them?
What level of VAT do they state on the invoices? 0%?

As an outsider, I'm guessing it has more to do with ASOS's current priorities. They took on a lot of outside money and have been pushed to grow as fast as possible over the last 5+ years. In this scenario, it makes sense to pay out goodwill discounts to unhappy customers just to shut them up and keep up a good public image.

Given some less than sterling financial results recently and Zalando's continued growth, it seems that ASOS have focussed much more on monetising and profitability in the last 18 months or so.

Perhaps their change in policy regarding goodwill discounts is a reflection of that.
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Old 13.11.2015, 12:16
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Re: ASOS.com committing tax fraud by charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

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Perfectly legal, they charge some customers a higher price.
Business's are there to make money for shareholders, charging what the market will accept has been the way of doing business for a very long time.

There is no legal requirement for you to buy from them, there is no legal requirement for them to accept your order.
Why do people always post this same old tired crap, as though it is something new or wise? Of course there is no legal requirement either way, I chose to shop with them, the point was I didn't realise the pricing and VAT structure until now, and I am not convinced it is right, and according to many other customers neither do they which is why VAT refunds were issued and often back-dated over years. Hence why I am asking.

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What level of VAT do they state on the invoices? 0%?

As an outsider, I'm guessing it has more to do with ASOS's current priorities. They took on a lot of outside money and have been pushed to grow as fast as possible over the last 5+ years. In this scenario, it makes sense to pay out goodwill discounts to unhappy customers just to shut them up and keep up a good public image.

Given some less than sterling financial results recently and Zalando's continued growth, it seems that ASOS have focussed much more on monetising and profitability in the last 18 months or so.

Perhaps their change in policy regarding goodwill discounts is a reflection of that.
I will check later today.
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Old 13.11.2015, 12:33
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Re: ASOS.com committing tax fraud by charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

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I guess their argument is that they're charging more for the goods for exports outside the EU.

EU : "Our Price" = £120 = £100 + £20 VAT
CH : "Our Price" = £120 = £120 + no VAT

Next used to do that (maybe still do). It's pretty crappy. Vote with your wallet.
& let's not forget all airport retailers do that too...
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Old 13.11.2015, 13:20
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Re: ASOS.com committing tax fraud by charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

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Why do people always post this same old tired crap, as though it is something new or wise? Of course there is no legal requirement either way, I chose to shop with them, the point was I didn't realise the pricing and VAT structure until now, and I am not convinced it is right, and according to many other customers neither do they which is why VAT refunds were issued and often back-dated over years. Hence why I am asking.



I will check later today.
Well you wrote in your first post "I really do not understand how this can be legal." so I explained to you there was no legal requirement either way, so a business & it's customers can do at they please.

It all depends how they accounted for VAT in their accounts, if it was noted as a VAT export sale then VAT can not be refunded.
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Old 13.11.2015, 13:36
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Re: ASOS.com committing tax fraud by charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

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Well you wrote in your first post "I really do not understand how this can be legal." so I explained to you there was no legal requirement either way, so a business & it's customers can do at they please.

It all depends how they accounted for VAT in their accounts, if it was noted as a VAT export sale then VAT can not be refunded.
Ahh ok, I see what you mean now, but you worded it a tad vaguely and patronisingly.

Regarding the VAT that is the part I am wondering, how they accounted for it in their accounts, as I (wrongly, it seems) presumed I was being charged VAT. I will check my previous invoices and see if VAT was stated.

Either way it's a shady thing to do hence why I presume most other major retailers have stopped the practise now....
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Old 13.11.2015, 14:31
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Re: ASOS.com charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

There are other online vendors using the same strategy. They pocket the difference.

It´s legal.

If you don't like it, don't buy from them.

Oh - the other example I have is www.xing.de ; these guys charge the same price, without VAT, to non-EU customers, pocketing the difference. For Swiss customers it's a super-duper rip-off, as they charge the nominally same amount for everyone, but add 8% Swiss VAT on top! In protest I changed my address to a German friend's. The same amount I would've agreed to, but 8% on top without them reducing their charge accordingly (NB this would already give them 11% more already), I felt is too much.
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Old 13.11.2015, 15:20
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Re: ASOS.com charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

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If you don't like it, don't buy from them.
Thanks, I will try to remember that I have a choice in the matter, otherwise I may have just felt trapped into buying from them for my entire life. Ahem.
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Old 23.11.2015, 01:25
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Re: ASOS.com committing tax fraud by charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

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I guess their argument is that they're charging more for the goods for exports outside the EU.

EU : "Our Price" = £120 = £100 + £20 VAT
CH : "Our Price" = £120 = £120 + no VAT

Next used to do that (maybe still do). It's pretty crappy. Vote with your wallet.
M&S do it too. I now only buy on trips to the UK when I can get tax-free in store. (Especially as my favourite German brand no longer fits as I get older )
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Old 23.11.2015, 01:30
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Re: ASOS.com charging CH customers UK VAT with no deduction?

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There are other online vendors using the same strategy. They pocket the difference.

It´s legal.

If you don't like it, don't buy from them.

Oh - the other example I have is www.xing.de ; these guys charge the same price, without VAT, to non-EU customers, pocketing the difference. For Swiss customers it's a super-duper rip-off, as they charge the nominally same amount for everyone, but add 8% Swiss VAT on top! In protest I changed my address to a German friend's. The same amount I would've agreed to, but 8% on top without them reducing their charge accordingly (NB this would already give them 11% more already), I felt is too much.
I recently renewed my premium for employment reasons, I shall now take a closer look at this and react accordingly, much appreciated.
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