paying UK tax on items from USA

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I recently bought a cuckoo clock from USA.  Including P&P I paid 34 pounds, (good deal), did the paypal, recived the clock after about 10 days. Everything rosy in the garden.              

 Today I received an invoice from Fedex for 21pounds and 10p for VAT / admin charge.

The cost of the clock was 46 US Dollars,(23pounds ish) the VAT is charged 14 pounds 30p. Fedex pay this to HMG and then send you an invoice to recover it and charge 6 pounds 80p for admin.

So in total the cost of the clock has gone from 34 pounds to  52 pounds 10p  (not a good deal.)

Getting lumbered with tax is a fact of life, but when it comes along out of the blue it is a shock, and no way would I have bought that clock if I had realised what the true cost was going to be.

So if you are thinking of buying anythin from America, when you are considering the price, bear in mind that after the sale has finished you are likely to get another bill.!!!

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