British nationals living in Spain claim that they are being overcharged to receive letters from the UK.
They claim that they have been mistakenly charged VAT to receive private letters when they should be exempt from extra taxes.
Disgruntled British residents have taken to reporting Spanish postal workers who have been demanding the extra payment upfront when delivering post which has come from outside of the European Union.
Under current rules, VAT needs to be charged on commercial post that comes into Spain and other EU countries from non-EU countries including the UK.
However, this doesn’t apply to private letters which should be exempt from VAT taxation.
Lynn Reeves, a British resident in the Murcia region reported to a local newspaper Murcia Today that she had been charged an incredible 10.25 euros to receive a letter.
Although Lynn challenged the Spanish postie, she was told that she needed to pay the tax or she would not be receiving her post.
“You have no option when you are put in the spot like that. You have to just pay up.
“Who is deciding what is to be charged VAT on? It seems like no one knows the rules.”
On the Correos website, which is the state-run postal service in Spain, states:
“From January 1, 2021, in order for Correos to proceed to deliver shipments containing merchandise from the United Kingdom, except for the territory of Northern Ireland, to the recipients in Spain, it will be necessary to present them for clearance before the Spanish Customs.
“The recipient must bear the expenses corresponding to customs processing as well as the payment of taxes accrued in accordance with current customs regulations (VAT or IGIC in the Canary Islands) and Special Taxes.
“However, the payment of duties may be exempted when it is documented that the merchandise contained in the shipment is of United Kingdom origin, except for the territory of Northern Ireland.”
Lynn is not alone though, as many other British expats have also reportedly been charged VAT to receive their private letters from the UK and other countries outside of the EU.
A number of residents in the town of Arboleas in Almeria said that they had also been taxed to receive their post from the UK.
One said, “I understand maybe some custom charges for parcels but surely not letters.”
Another resident said: “A few weeks ago, my neighbour was charged six euros for some second-hand magazines sent by his brother.
“Clearly there may be some monetary value on those but he was only charged six euros whilst I was charged over 10 euros for a few letters which have no value.
“We have had the same envelopes sent a couple of times since Brexit but they have just been left in the postbox with no charge.”
Despite the regulations being clear on which post should and should not be charged for, it appears that some Spanish postal workers didn’t get the memo.
Lynn Reeves said, “I think there needs to be a lot of training somewhere along the line. I know lots of people who have been charged more for the VAT than the value of the item.
“And the recipient has refused to take delivery and I believe the warehouses here are chock-a-block with unaccepted parcels.”
Any Brits that have been charged for private letters should contact the Correos directly with any queries they may have.
November 24, 2021
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