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Delivery Charges - including VAT

Should an advertised delivery charge be inclusive of VAT?

9:35 am on May 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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joined:Apr 14, 2004
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I was just about to place on order on a computer website that had an advertised delivery charge of 4.50. When I came to check out, the total for the order was (in my mind) incorrect.

On checking the figures, it showed that VAT had been added to the delivery charge - so the charge was actually 5.17.

On my site, the delivery charge we advertise, always includes VAT and I thought this was fairly standard. Am I wrong?



11:52 am on May 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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joined:May 30, 2003
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Hi Joop,

Yes, generally speaking, you should include VAT on every price including delivery - especially if you're selling to the general public. I always like to make it clear by stating "(inc VAT)" next to each price.

The only exception is if you're specifically targeting business customers, then it might be an idea not to include it.

Some sites allow you to toggle whether prices include or exclude VAT. But anyway, what's important is that it is made clear. I agree, sometimes I've felt a bit cheated when I've assumed that VAT is included only to get to the checkout to find that the price didn't include VAT.

The only complication is if you're selling outside of the EU - you should not charge VAT on these orders! Which is a bit of a headache to code and also to show in your book-keeping...

All the best,


10:22 pm on May 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Seconded. I agree with jweighell... selling to the public then it's best to include VAT in all your prices, and then exclusive for all your businesses.