Shopping Discussion

Double Taxes on a Product Shipped via UPS from US - What are my options?

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 20th, 2020 10:50 am
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 20, 2012
8 posts
10 upvotes
NEPEAN

Double Taxes on a Product Shipped via UPS from US - What are my options?

Hi all,

I have an interesting situation... It's for a popular video game from Square Enix Online Store, and this is probably not unique considering I found a few others already in an equivalent situation.

Here is the facts of my situation:
  • I purchased an item from an online US store that charged me Canadian Sales Tax at checkout
  • I can confirm this is Ontario HST because if I change address to Quebec on the online store, the rate changes.
  • To reiterate, the store charged me Canadian sales tax at checkout - the vendor themselves confirmed this to me.
  • Online invoice of my product says I paid taxes too when I check it.
When the package hit the border, UPS gave the package to CBSA, and assessed it. Obviously I got hit with UPS Brokerage.

The UPS Brokerage charges for my product are approximately: $80.68 Brokerage+Tax, and $61.39 HST on a product worth $469.15.
I paid the same taxes at my checkout before it shipped.

The information given to UPS (what they used generate Brokerage charges), does NOT indicate I paid Canadian Taxes at all. In fact, the invoice I received (with the package) says "Bill Duties and Taxes to Recipient".
If this is the case... what is the company doing with the Taxes they collect?

I cannot fight the brokerage charges with UPS, because as far as UPS is concerned, UPS did everything correctly, based on the information they received.

When I spoke with the customer support for the store, this was the information I received from Scalefast/Square Enix:
Sales taxed are charged based on the ship to address so even if we ship from the US, we have, by law, to charge the Canadian customers.
Please understand that importation tax and sales tax are two separate things.
and another statement from a different day
I just checked your order and I can confirm that you were charged Canadian taxes based on the Canadian province of your residence. Taxes are calculated and based on the ship to address and follow the local rules. They are not based on the location from where we ship.

However, kindly note that our sales tax does not include additional customs charges that might be applied by Canadian customs once the item has been received.

I'm not the only one with this situation as other folks on Reddit are in the same situation.
I can probably file with the government to get my taxes back, but I would be out the UPS Brokerage.

I can probably do chargeback or PP Dispute, but I need to get my facts in order.
  • If a vendor sends a package to Canada via UPS, and indicates to UPS/CBSA(?) that HST was already paid, would this prevent me from being charged Brokerage?
  • Is what is happening with the vendor that collected the HST fraud? (They confirmed they are "authorized" to collect taxes when I spoke with them. The lady I spoke with works out of a Customer Support center in Spain. Her responses are pasted above, and similar to the BBB response below.


I plan to update this post eventually with the resolution so I hope this post helps someone eventually if this is found via Google.

If anyone cares, this is Square Enix Online Store, operated by Scalefast. I found a similar post with a guy in a similar situation, if anyone is interested: https://www.bbb.org/us/ca/el-segundo/pr ... #397658764
8 replies
Newbie
Jan 22, 2020
38 posts
24 upvotes
Square Enix fudged up the documentation. You should be a be able to get your money back for the sales tax they billed you if you keep asking. Don’t let up.

As for UPS brokerage fees it’s weird that video games would have them. In fact, I have never been charged tax on video games arriving from the USA. But I only ever bought retro stuff on eBay, like Super Nintendo games. Weird.

What did you buy from the square enix store that cost you almost $500?
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 20, 2012
8 posts
10 upvotes
NEPEAN
I’m trying to get the $80 back from the Brokerage Charges. I’m more concerned that the company Square Enix is using is collecting free “Tax Money” as other customers have gotten screwed by this.

Bought Final Fantasy VII Remake 1st Class Edition.

$330 USD. After shipping and Ontario HST taxes, $417 USD.

UPS invoice was for only the $330 converted to CAD
Sr. Member
Dec 18, 2017
929 posts
525 upvotes
London, On
UltraCompact wrote: I’m trying to get the $80 back from the Brokerage Charges. I’m more concerned that the company Square Enix is using is collecting free “Tax Money” as other customers have gotten screwed by this.

Bought Final Fantasy VII Remake 1st Class Edition.

$330 USD. After shipping and Ontario HST taxes, $417 USD.

UPS invoice was for only the $330 converted to CAD
Clarification, are you trying to get the UPS brokerage back? It's confusing between the 2 posts. I doubt you would be successful at that, given that as you said in the OP, they did their job and those are the fees they charge, as outrageous as they are. It is possible to self clear, you would have to google the process for that (or search on here as others have posted about it), but you would save the 80 bucks for UPS and presumably have the invoice from the shipper showing you paid HST as well so not have to pay that.

If you have the paperwork showing you paid the HST twice, you likely have to contact the Ministry of Finance for Ontario (since the provinces collect HST as far as I know). Then they will determine whether the vendor is actually collecting the tax and remitting, or committing fraud. If the MoF determines the vendor doesn't remit the tax, they will then likely be done with you because they got your money and it will be up to you to go to the next step with your credit card to try to recover what the vendor charged you for.
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 20, 2012
8 posts
10 upvotes
NEPEAN
djeffery wrote: Clarification, are you trying to get the UPS brokerage back? It's confusing between the 2 posts. I doubt you would be successful at that, given that as you said in the OP, they did their job and those are the fees they charge, as outrageous as they are. It is possible to self clear, you would have to google the process for that (or search on here as others have posted about it), but you would save the 80 bucks for UPS and presumably have the invoice from the shipper showing you paid HST as well so not have to pay that.

If you have the paperwork showing you paid the HST twice, you likely have to contact the Ministry of Finance for Ontario (since the provinces collect HST as far as I know). Then they will determine whether the vendor is actually collecting the tax and remitting, or committing fraud. If the MoF determines the vendor doesn't remit the tax, they will then likely be done with you because they got your money and it will be up to you to go to the next step with your credit card to try to recover what the vendor charged you for.
I'm fighting for both my HST back, and the brokerage charge from the company. I opened a PP dispute and I am now waiting for a response. I specifically indicated in my PP dispute asking for evidence/proof that they are authorized to collect HST, and attached both copies of both invoices that do not match. I know how to claim money back from the government, but I'd prefer to get the money back from the company as I want the brokerage fee back.

When I spoke with UPS, they said I had to show up at Windsor to self clear it myself. Not sure how accurate this is, but at this point I was already infuriated with the double HST situation.

I guess a better question is, how does one (the sender) tell CBSA that HST has already been paid before a package hits the border? This is something I can't seem to find information on.
Sr. Member
Feb 18, 2012
779 posts
389 upvotes
Victoria
You can't get the brokerage fee back from ups. They cleared it so you have to pay it. You have to self clear before they do. You would have to get it back from the seller as it was their mistake.
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 20, 2012
8 posts
10 upvotes
NEPEAN
Horsey2345 wrote: You can't get the brokerage fee back from ups. They cleared it so you have to pay it. You have to self clear before they do. You would have to get it back from the seller as it was their mistake.
Yes I've indicated that in my opening post. I'm trying to get my facts in order so I can claim the money back from the seller.

They are being hard asses with "well its not our problem when it hits the border", which is hard to swallow when they already charged taxes.
Sr. Member
Jan 17, 2013
655 posts
252 upvotes
Maybe this information will be helpful or no help at all. This is how B&H Photo does their "Delivered Duties Paid" in general. I've ordered several times from B&H Photo (cellphones, photographic equipment) using the "Delivered Duties Paid" method. Received parcel with no further charges (brokerage or sales tax).

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/HelpC ... jsp#canada

Canadian Shipping

B&H Offers free shipping to Canada via ground service. We offer our customers the option of either DDP (Delivered Duties Paid) or DDU (Delivered Duties Unpaid).

With DDP – duties and taxes will be collected by B&H Photo and transmitted to the carrier with proper documentation to clear into Canada. We will collect an amount that's equivalent to the duties, taxes and other applicable cross-border fees along with your merchandise.

With DDU – the carrier will contact you to collect duties, taxes and other applicable cross-border fees directly. B&H has negotiated with carriers for a minimal fee to cover clearance charges. We will provide carriers with all proper documentation before shipping.

With DDU only – you also have the option to clear your order with a different licensed brokerage house. Please inform the carrier as soon as they make contact; they will hand over the package to your appointed broker with all relevant documentation.

Please note that with your selection of DDP or DDU, the carrier may need to obtain your verbal consent and/or require a signature on a POA (Power of Attorney) or your BN (Canadian Business Number) to clear your order through the CBSA.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
8577 posts
1517 upvotes
UltraCompact wrote: I’m trying to get the $80 back from the Brokerage Charges. I’m more concerned that the company Square Enix is using is collecting free “Tax Money” as other customers have gotten screwed by this.

Bought Final Fantasy VII Remake 1st Class Edition.

$330 USD. After shipping and Ontario HST taxes, $417 USD.

UPS invoice was for only the $330 converted to CAD
If they were legit, check their HST registration number to confirm. Even if they don't have one, residing in the US means no one is going to bother with them.
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