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If a friend sends me gold from abroad - do I pay any taxes

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If a friend sends me gold from abroad - do I pay any taxes import duty?
Hello, I'm Keith and happy to help you with your question.

In theory Import duty and VAT will be imposed by HMRC on entry to the UK. However, if the customs declaration form on the packet is correctly completed and describes it as a gift it may well be passed without duty being raised.

You will know if duty has been charged for HMRC will not release the package without it being paid. However, if you then advise them that it is a gift and not a trade importation they may well waive the import charge. To this end it might be well to have additional evidence of the gift status apart from just the tiny international customs declaration on the packet. A letter from your friend explaining the situation would be a significant advantage.

However, if such imports are a regular pattern it may provoke an HMRC enquiry into the practice. Such transfers could also attract attention as possible money laundering with which I am sure you are not involved.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It is worth a lot of money - circa 340 000 GBP - she could send to herself here I guess c/o me

She was given it by a benefactor - a very wealthy dying Chines millionaires that she looked after - we only want her to have it here

But if it is shipped to me _ I think there is a risk of tax -

She could sell it there when she gets the papers but I think not so good

If I do this right she never need work again

all we are trying to do is to get it out of China and to the UK

what would you advise

I do not doubt your intentions for a moment. However the sum involved is very large and will almost certainly be suspect unless well documented. I would be inclined to put the matter to HMRC before importation takes place so the whole matter can be handled smoothly. You don't want to be in the position of being thought to be receiving income or trading. Gifts are in the UK outside the scope of tax, but such a large sum is bound to attract attention.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


No this is very much a one off - it is my girlfriend - and she never knew what it w2as worth and even that it was gold

So much so she went thro customs with it in her carry bag to give to me in China - and they jumped on her big time

I am working with lawyers now to try to get out of big trouble as she simply did not know what it is worth.

The lady just said to her: "It will give you good fortune one day!"

Ironically more like a two year jail sentence.

I really need to get her out of this mess - and one option has been put forward by our man in China is to get it ratified and shipped to me.

But I am worried that 6.5 Kg of pure gold statue will attract customs duty. We are not rich and this whole thing could turn into a nightmare

I am more worried for her – all I want is see her have a better life – she has been a servant for long time now – working away from her country – with no holiday 7 days a week 14 hours a day – It is time fortune favoured her

What is the worst case type of amount they could charge to you think?


Duty on gold on importation to the UK is zero, but VAT at 5% will be applied and must be paid before the items will be released.

I apologise. I am sorry but this scenario has all the hall marks of a commonly found scam. Does an internet meeting form part of this chain of events and have you been asked to meet the duty payable?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

mmm Sureways Travel - mean anything to you?


The IP address traces to Michigan and the organisation has been registered since 25 March 2013. If you have been requested by HMRC to pay the duty direct to HMRC and not through an agency then it may be legitimate, but as I said it has all the hall marks of a sophisticated scam.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Keith - no nothing on Duty just the fine -

It was my thoughts that lead me think about duty

and yes we did meet on the internet

But my research on Google for Sureways travel agency only turns up good stuff. and the address in Shenzhen is the same

You worry me now.

We have spoke 3 times a day for last 2 months more or less and I find nothing about her that is not genuine - in our conversation - she has never asked me for money - like may Filipino do.

the only thing I did find strange was that Mr Wong the agent insisted on doing everything

And when I send money to China it is to a bursar -name not the company

Jo Brown Jr - he tells me that is the way it is done there.

I guess I need to check that out - do you know?

Also when she went to the embassy - the "bond" was upped from 6300 - to 10000 for the six months

This is undoubtedly a scam, beware.

The web site looks decidedly suspect. If you have further doubts please post your question in our Fraud Examiner category and an expert in such matters will cover your enquiries.
bigduckontax and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your support.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

mmm I called their bluff on the airport scam and changed her lawyer to one I chose, and i tell to ring him - she is still sticking to her story


Well done!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

He blew up

she is sticking to her story


To quote Mandy Rice Davis 'Well he would do, wouldn't he?'

Send this question to Fraud Examiner. Pound to a pinch of salt this lawyer will prove to be false.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have asked my own lawyer there to look into it

If she is right I have made terrible mistake

The fact that even after I tell her I think she is a scammer she is still sticking to her story.

the time is running out - and the new lawyer may not easily be able to see her.

But the agent was wrong on what he said about the bail - there can be no bail for such an offence in China I am told by new lawyer

He was wrong about 2 other things as well

The pressure is building - now - we will see what happens - will my love for her make me give in - or the light of day show otherwise

We shall see



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She is texting me now - getting worried - and I hate to do this, it is 1:00 am there now.

But I only have the two of them's word for all

It is time for a third party set up by me to go in.


I hope i have not made a terrible mistake - but in some ways I hope I have

because it would show it was not a scam and she is for real


Either way I loose


I would cut your losses.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It is not my losses i am worried about

If she is for real - I have sentenced her to 2 years in jail

The one I loved .... could you live with that?


w a t t s _ at s k y dot c o m

I don't have to.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Good point - but it does not help my feelings!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Well thanks Keith

you have been a great help

because it set me on a path of discovery last night - I worked most of the night on it - hiring a Chinese lawyer - briefing him - paying him

researching more on the net that i already have on the pair

Talking to the police, immigration and the international fraud team today

All these were negatives and it has tipped my balance from that of love to "check it out"


Thanks again for your information

Pleased to have been of assistance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You were right it is a scam.

The Philippine Consulate got back to me today and declared there is no one in customs detention at that airport - they would have been advised.

It has cost me some 12.5 K GBP

I have pawned my Rolex. borrowed of friend and family to do this.

I am a fool - I trusted. I did some checks on google but they were smart enough to put plus comments about and there were no un-toward comments.,

And you know what? I am relieved - if I had sent an innocent girl down I could not have forgiven myself.


But no I am in serious financial position for a while as I already had some debt before.


I want to catch these people and get them sent down in Chinese Prison - that would be ironic as that is the motivator they tortured me with - and they still try even after.



I have spoken to Chinese lawyer - he says get our police involved - because the Chinese police take notice of international police rather than a foreigner - and that it mat well be possible to get money back


I have a lot of information on them.

Phone reverse look-up location of Ara - which checks out

Bank details Sureways used, conversations, the fact that an identical scam is known to have happened before.

I could not tell from the girl's conversation over hundreds of hours that anything was untoward - even it was very decent - mannerly soft.


If there is anything you can advise I would like to know.

I am deeply hurt and feel sick - that someone could do this so callously - not so much for me but for my faith in people


It will take me a long time to get out of this mess.

And hurt others whom could have had that money.

I have loaded police fraud site with info - but that sight is crap really - often giving internal errors and stopping you adding more.

I will contact the dating site now.


If you have any advice - please help


Kind regards


Terry Watts





I am so sorry you were scammed. The only consolation is that I know of people losing ten times as much on similar frauds.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.


I was beginning to get suspicious of our Mr Wong

But not Ara

I will do my best to get people in jail and my money back - but it is a slim one - at least I can notify all the agencies I can think of

Strangely her profile is still on FilipinoCupid (not active for 1 month)

I have a copy of her profile.

Any Thanks Keith

It is over now ... I hope.

And I am the wiser - if impecunious

Again, sorry.