By Marcus Leach

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have warned online Christmas shoppers that they may face a tax bill if they order Christmas gifts from outside the EU.

HMRC is warning shoppers that they could be caught out if they think they have a bargain but fail to factor in VAT and customs duty.

The VAT law states that any package valued at more than £15 bought over the internet from outside the EU faces a £15 VAT charge.

Further to that there may be a customs duty applicable for any goods valued over £135.

For those receiving a gift from outside the EU, import VAT will be charged if the package is valued at more than £40.

"You do not want to be faced with unexpected extra charges, when you thought you had found a bargain," said Angela Shephard, of HMRC.

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