Customs etc issue

Hi all you lovely people. Sorry but this is a bit long. I. was wondering if you can advise me on some major issues that i am having. My wife and i bought a house in france in 2019 with a view to restore the house and outbuildings we paid cash for it and had a couple of weeks working on it in 2019, we had the chimney rebuilt and the roof repaired. I bought a lot of tools in the uk and took them to france to help me do the work on the house We then returned to england intending to come back in early 2020, however covid kicked in and we were locked down not able to go anywhere. Since then my wife and i caught covid and i had to have a triple heart bypass.
We are now not able to carryout the work on the house due to ill health and have not been able to revisit the house since. The issues we have are that we are wanting to sell the house and i need to either bring my tools back to uk or sell them in france, they are all brand new and unused.
What i am concerned about is notwithstanding the fact i have receipts showing i bought the tools in the uk, before we left the eu, can i bring the tools back without having to pay tax on them.
If not what should i do to realise their value i spent about £10k on all the tools. I also would like to know if we do manage to sell the house can we transfer the money to the uk without further tax.
Sorry for the diatribe but any advice would be welcome. T.

Terry -
I’m afraid I can’t offer any factual advice regarding the tools but I am very sorry to hear about the health issues you’ve had to face and I hope that the situation has now improved.
A friend had a triple bypass 2 years ago and even she is amazed how well she recovered. I hope this will apply to you too.

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Hello Terence
Firstly I echo Brian’s sentiments and wish well in a return to good health.
I am sure you fully understand that tools, like many things, once bought quickly depreciate in value whether used or not. 10 k is alot of money to anybody and I fully understand your desire to recover as much of your expenditure as possible.
Personally I think you would be throwing money away travelling to France to then return with the tools as surely 10k of tools is much more than would fit in the boot of your
What region of France is your house?
There are many local and national platforms in France where you could advertise them but you will have to be realistic in what price you ask whenever you try to sell them.

I’d bring the tools back with the receipts, proof of when house bought, proof of medical issues, any evidence (optional) of now selling the house, and take my chances with British customs on the way back if you could use the tools in England.

If not try leboncoin to sell them. My strong advice would be not to let your address or town be known to anyone you contact via leboncoin. Also do not let it be known locally the tools are there. We had expensive tools stolen out of a property when we had appointed so-called trustworthy locals to look after it in a similar situation.

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First - the best of health to you. What a blow.

Tools worth £10k? I rebuilt the interior of my house in Bristol - electrics, tiling, plumbing… If I did not have just the tool for a job I bought one. However, even if I had bought exclusively Makita or Hilti for power tools I couldn’t get anywhere near 10K. What have you got that’s so pricey? Self-loading cement mixer? :slightly_smiling_face:

The solution I’d go for, in your situation, is Ebay auction. Your market is the whole of France and more. Your location can be as vague as you like. Everything will sell. You will get what the tools are worth - as Mrs T said, “You can’t buck the market”.

If you decide to do this, do not put a starting price at what you would like to get minus a bit. I am a veteran ebayist, buyer and seller. Over & over again I have seen items stick, priced at what would actually be a fair selling price, with no bids, whereas the same-ish thing starting at 1€ goes on to fetch a realistic price. It’s all to do with getting the bidding rolling.

The buyers will pay for carriage or pay cash on collection. Weight is going to be a problem. A 230mm angle grinder can be packed into a compact lump but the postage costs will be a drag on bidding. It can’t be helped. There are difficulties with any m.o. you go for. You will probably be disappointed by the prices you realise but as has been mentioned already, 2nd hand tools depreciate like bricks.

PS. " Everything will sell.". Yes, it will but …

When I bought my house in Bristol I found a new, unopened box of quadrant edging strip for laminate flooring. I think there was 30m of it. I put it on ebay, starting at £1. I got only 1 bid - so it sold for £1! The person who bought it paid cash. She said she was so embarrassed to have bought for only £1 she sent a fiver!

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2nd hand tool prices might sink like a brick, but 2nd hand brick prices don’t


15 years ago I bought on Ebay from a lady in Liverpool a microwave. She started the bidding at £0.99, I bid that and no-one else came in so as we were due to go to my son’s wedding 3 months later I asked her to keep it for me. On the way back down from Cumbria we found her house with the help of my old A-Z and then the micro, still boxed up with all the wrapping and the user manual. I gave her a pound and, very embarrassed as she searched her purse, told her please don’t bother with the change, but we had thought to bring a bottle of St. Emilion with us which we handed over with grateful thanks. :innocent:

It is still working perfectly apart from the timer which packed up ages ago, but we are simply used to watching coffee start to bubble, and we guess all the rest. :rofl:

Hi Terry. So sorry to hear of your health issues & may I wish you a speedy recovery.
Regarding your tools , and I may be wrong ,but…If you have all the uk receipts , I would have thought that they will have left the UK temporarily and are simply being returned & therefore no VAT or import duties would be applicable , but check with uk customs & excise for confirmation.
As regards your house - this is a house “secondaire” , so any profit on sale will be taxable in France. You may be able to deduct any expenditure if you have receipts from artisans , but not any legal costs.