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Thread: Gatwick Tax free watches?!

  1. #1
    Master
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    Gatwick Tax free watches?!

    I was flying out of gatwick (South) yesterday. Arrived some time in advance and so had some time to look around the shops...

    I went in suspecting the usual high prices, but must say I was amazed to see very good tag prices on the usual selection (Zenith, Omega, Breitling etc.).

    To the point, where I was tempted by the Omega 300m SMP Chrono. Well known EU online dealers offer this at well over the 4000 GBP mark (incl. VAT), while the tag at Gatwick was saying 3,400 GBP!

    How does this work? If I am flying in from there to Malta (EU), would I only pay sticker price (exempt from Tax)?!

    Any advice, from people who made purchases there, are very welcome.

  2. #2
    Only Tax free if you're flying outside the EU

  3. #3
    Craftsman
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    I think all you get off is the VAT. Technically, one is liable for it when re-entering the UK or another country including duty as well.

    If one is an internationally law abiding citizen, there is absolutely no point to duty free. It would appear to only exist to encourage criminality.

  4. #4
    Craftsman
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    Thats not how I understand it works at all at least not in EU, they are simply discounted, the tax is still paid so no worries re vat

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Liner33 View Post
    Thats not how I understand it works at all at least not in EU, they are simply discounted, the tax is still paid so no worries re vat
    No they are not discounted, you are avoiding paying UK VAT duty of 20% if you are purchasing the item then leaving the EU, if you are staying in the EU then you pay the full price including VAT

  6. #6
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanguard View Post
    No they are not discounted, you are avoiding paying UK VAT duty of 20% if you are purchasing the item then leaving the EU, if you are staying in the EU then you pay the full price including VAT
    my recollection is that on certain brands you get a discount equivalent to the vat saving if flying within the eu, and its 16.66% rather than 20%

  7. #7
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanguard View Post
    No they are not discounted, you are avoiding paying UK VAT duty of 20% if you are purchasing the item then leaving the EU, if you are staying in the EU then you pay the full price including VAT
    https://www.watches-of-switzerland.co.uk/i/faqs

    We offer Tax Free Shopping for customers visiting the UK from outside the EU. If you wish to take advantage of Tax Free Shopping please ask in store. You will be provided with a Tax Free Shopping receipt that can be redeemed at the airport on your departure from the UK.

    In our airport stores, we offer tax free equivalent prices to everyone travelling whether from inside or outside the EU, excluding Rolex and Tudor.

  8. #8
    If that's the case how do they differentiate pricing between people flying to the EU or outside the EU as you are entitled to pay no VAT if leaving the EU but still obligated to pay it if remaining within.

  9. #9
    Master
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    They will ask for a boarding pass. You can't even buy a sandwich in most airports without providing a boarding pass.

  10. #10
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanguard View Post
    If that's the case how do they differentiate pricing between people flying to the EU or outside the EU as you are entitled to pay no VAT if leaving the EU but still obligated to pay it if remaining within.
    You know when they scan your boarding card? Then.

  11. #11
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonesey View Post
    They will ask for a boarding pass. You can't even buy a sandwich in most airports without providing a boarding pass.
    If I buy anything at the airport I don't bother about the boarding pass, I just tell them the wife has them, never been refused a sale yet, I was told it's so the franchise can reclaim tax but I really don't know.

  12. #12
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitfitter View Post
    If I buy anything at the airport I don't bother about the boarding pass, I just tell them the wife has them, never been refused a sale yet, I was told it's so the franchise can reclaim tax but I really don't know.
    Different rules for some shops. Some you have to show, some you don't.

    Harry Potter shop at Gatwick refuses to sell without boarding pass and I tried to hold out on them!

  13. #13
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    OP didnít know the first rule of TZ-UK...donít talk about VAT avoidance at airports....a crime worse than murder.

  14. #14
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    Was in Gatwick myself yesterday. Great Omega selection.

  15. #15
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    The Ernest Jones there accepts the gift card vouchers that many people can buy at a 15% or so discount via their workplace perk schemes. So you get the 16.6% VAT discount plus 15% off the discounted amount equating to around 30.5% off

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  16. #16
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    Gatwick Tax free watches?!

    Deleted post
    Last edited by jimmer42; 21st May 2019 at 22:03.

  17. #17
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liner33 View Post
    https://www.watches-of-switzerland.co.uk/i/faqs

    We offer Tax Free Shopping for customers visiting the UK from outside the EU. If you wish to take advantage of Tax Free Shopping please ask in store. You will be provided with a Tax Free Shopping receipt that can be redeemed at the airport on your departure from the UK.

    In our airport stores, we offer tax free equivalent prices to everyone travelling whether from inside or outside the EU, excluding Rolex and Tudor.
    This.....itís a straight discount as the above was how it was described to me in store at Gatwick


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    They pay the equivalent of VAT but VAT is still paid by the customer. So, hypothetically, can a foreigner claim that back and thus get a 'double' discount?

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by jimmer42 View Post
    This.....it’s a straight discount as the above was how it was described to me in store at Gatwick

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    I was also told exactly the same in Heathrow.

  20. #20
    No - they charge the UK RRP - 16.66% - equivalent to the VAT.

    If you can present an out of EU boarding card they nil rate the VAT, so you pay full RRP but no VAT.

    If you are staying in Europe then you pay the same bill, but it made up of a discounted price + VAT.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    They pay the equivalent of VAT but VAT is still paid by the customer. So, hypothetically, can a foreigner claim that back and thus get a 'double' discount?
    Sent from my SM-G950F using TZ-UK mobile app

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    They pay the equivalent of VAT but VAT is still paid by the customer. So, hypothetically, can a foreigner claim that back and thus get a 'double' discount?
    Hypothetically, if you're buying it as a company asset you could claim back the VAT you've paid, getting you a double discount.

  22. #22
    I think anyone who tried to claim a luxury watch as a business asset, but not as a dealer, would struggle on an HMRC or VAT inspection....

    I can think of very limited ways it wouldn't trigger as being a benefit in kind.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using TZ-UK mobile app

  23. #23
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    The Ernest Jones there accepts the gift card vouchers that many people can buy at a 15% or so discount via their workplace perk schemes. So you get the 16.6% VAT discount plus 15% off the discounted amount equating to around 30.5% off

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    now thats a top tip

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by 893bet View Post
    Was in Gatwick myself yesterday. Great Omega selection.
    What brands does the store sell?

    (Ernest jones website doesnt say)

  25. #25
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    I avoid buying brand new watches as a rule but spotted exactly the Constellation that Mrs Draft wanted there at such a good price it would have been rude not to. En route to Malta as it happens, my regular bus home, and no tax consequences nor anything dodgy.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonny View Post
    What brands does the store sell?

    (Ernest jones website doesnt say)
    Omega, tag, Breitling and Longines were the ďbigĒ brands.

  27. #27
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluehase284 View Post
    I think anyone who tried to claim a luxury watch as a business asset, but not as a dealer, would struggle on an HMRC or VAT inspection....

    I can think of very limited ways it wouldn't trigger as being a benefit in kind.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using TZ-UK mobile app
    Unfortunately so, had many discussions with my accountant about needing timing equipment for training workshops, however it would appear the requirement said equipment being Swiss & COSC etc seems to be pushing my luck. Shame really!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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