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How can people ask me to undervalue a shipment?


are they in the music business or something completely unrelated?



In most cases, related enough, that an inspector wouldn’t be able to tell whether it was true or not.



I think sometimes it also comes down to education and perspective. Some folks have not ordered a lot online and don’t know much about taxes when ordering expensive products from overseas. The other factor is the price of the Module, it’s a high-end module that folks have to save up for, being that modular is not cheap, new folks could be seen as looking for a break due to the cost (again a bit of an education issue). When we assume others know what we know, it creates a potential gap in understanding.

As others have said, a lot of other vendors will ship with reduced prices on the tax form (I’ve seen that with probably 5 out of my last 6 international orders, so folks may get the impression that a) this is not illegal and b) small manufacturers will offer this to their clients).

So we probably have 2 camps… 1, folks who just don’t know and basing their experience on what they have seen in the past or 2, folks who know the laws but say f*ck it anyways as they want to save a few hundred bucks. Hard to know which one a person falls into unless you ask or is plainly obvious.

And for the person who said simply work with your government to change the way things are taxed. While a great idea, not very practical in reality (at least from my perspective here). I think it’s simply a matter of education which I think Brian is trying to address with the info on his website.

All I know is I’ve gotten my order in for the er301, I know the tax man will be coming to take a nice chunk from me, but I understood that going in. So I’m stoked to get my hands on the great er301, taxes or no taxes :slight_smile:

Ypsi Kid



As unpractical as it is, it still remains the one correct course of action to change the legislation or regulations around taxation in your country. I suppose if your country’s government is REALLY bad, there is still the option of a revolution, but I’d wager we aren’t talking about any of those countries. However, my point is, that just because something is more difficult than one might be accustomed to, doesn’t dismiss it as the appropriate action.

I do agree that education on the matter is most likely the true root of the problem here versus a nefarious effort to break the law.



Hehe… You are joking right? You see UK government claiming VAT on products as something that can be changed?



As I’m not familiar with your government or laws I’ll say timidly yes, but take it as a much more general response in that in any case the solution has to do with your government.

My counter question to you would be, how else can you legally address the concern?



I can’t say with 100% certainty, I am not a lawyer, but I am reasonably sure if that’s the case that your countries laws and the way they are decided on are polar opposites to what we have here in the UK. The phrase ‘hell will freeze over first’ comes to mind when thinking about VAT relief on luxury goods like this :slight_smile:

Some goods are exempt, usually based on the idea of ‘life essentials’ or health and safety products, eg. some food, motorcycle helmets, water, but as a consumer you just pay the price the shop is selling the product for, VAT is often silently included, sometimes you will also get a VAT receipt that shows the calculation breakdown.

All modules in all synth stores in the UK pay the VAT (and import duty if it has been imported) for you and it is included in the retail price, there is no legal way to avoid paying this.

As a VAT registered business you can claim some of it back if it relates to your business, but if you do this and the items you claim the VAT back on are found to not be directly related to your business and more specifically it’s outputs that you also charge VAT on then it is fraud again.



Might be worthwhile to reflect a bit on why that might be the case. Is it possible that a majority of citizens feel that this is an altogether appropriate way to raise revenue for important shared needs that government can provide?



Oh yes, I think it absolutely IS an appropriate way to raise funds for government to in turn pay for healthcare, emergency services etc… much more so than income tax below £30K for example, simply because these are luxury items.

Having said that I think VAT is not really that fair because it is applied consistently across the social spectrum and consequently poorer people end up paying a much higher percentage of their disposable income in VAT.

Generally, I believe that taxation should be more on a scale related to social standing and wealth. The poor pay relatively little, the wealthy pay proportionally more.

p.s. I grumble a bit every time (of course! We brits do like a good moan!) but I do pay VAT on everything I have imported and do not claim it back legitimately or otherwise!



May we all collectively work to discover better approaches to both democracy and taxation for a more equitable future.



I’m dutifully reading everyone’s posts here! It’s been very therapeutic to say the least :heart_eyes:

I feel like I should add that I have nothing against tax optimization. I certainly practice it myself. The three tax systems that I have experience with (USA, Japan, Hong Kong) seem to all be built with the assumption that it is the taxee’'s responsibility to figure out what taxes they do NOT have to pay. Combine that with the fact that tax rules are completely opaque to the mere mortal and it can be very discouraging.

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Definitely stick to your principles, Brian. I support your stance.



Again the modelling of corporate and governmental (not too distinct at this point in history) behaviour may well be part of the problem here. Corporations go to great lengths to legally (and or not) avoid paying tax, and as Brian says, it’s built into the system. Politicians are elected on their promises to help various interest groups avoid taxes at the expense of the citizenry. It’s probably of no surprise that this lack of felt responsibility, profit at all costs kind of mentality starts to prevail in the culture.



Definitely true for the USA. In fact, you might do well to hire someone to help you figure out what you don’t have to pay, lest you not realize you don’t have to pay it. :wink:



Yeah, there does seem to be a direct correlation between economic standing and the ability and opportunity to avoid paying taxes… the poor have virtually no way to avoid taxes whereas the very rich can get away with not paying millions owed; I would like to see that inverted somehow!

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Mentality is the case too. Most of East Europe countries are in post-soviet era but the officials from said era still linger in said countries. Some people think that paying taxes is supporting said post-soviet governments.
Of course that solves absolutely 0 of your problems :). Just another angle to look at.