Revenue has warned the public of the additional costs that can occur when buying goods online.
They said that while some prices advertised may be low, it can be because tax and duty have not been included.
Online shoppers should be aware that additional charges can apply once the purchased goods arrive in Ireland, Revenue has warned.
"Almost all goods arriving from non-EU countries will be liable to tax and duty,” said Maureen Dalton, Principal Officer in Revenue’s Customs Division.
“If you shop online, you need to check whether the advertised price includes any tax and duty costs due before you make your decision to buy the goods concerned”.
They said that last year, Revenue officers in postal depots around the country applied charges to almost 100,000 parcels and packets. The average duty and VAT charge per parcel was €68.66.
“If the cost of the goods you buy, including transport, insurance and handling charges, is more than €22 you will have to pay VAT,” explained Ms Dalton.
“If your goods alone cost more than €150 you will have to pay Customs Duty and VAT.
“For example, if you bought a mobile phone online from China, at an equivalent cost of €212, you would have to pay an additional €54.50 in Customs Duty, VAT, insurance and handling fees.
“When you buy alcohol and tobacco products online from outside the EU, VAT, Customs Duty and Excise Duty, are payable, regardless of the value of your purchase.” “However, online shoppers also need to be aware that while almost all goods arriving from EU countries are not liable to tax and duty, alcohol and tobacco products arriving from another EU Member State are liable to Excise Duty and VAT.
“For example, the Excise Duty, VAT and handling fee on an average case of 12 bottles of sparkling wine, originating in another EU country, could add up to €119.27 to your purchase price.” Ms Dalton warned people to be clear on the real costs of anything they buy online before ordering it.
“This will ensure you not faced with any additional unanticipated charges when you take delivery.”