Reader Questions – “When I switched banks, I was billed twice for stamp duty. Why?’

QI have had to close my credit card account as my bank is leaving Ireland and I am applying for a new credit card. However, I paid stamp duty in April and again in July when I closed my account and I am afraid I will be charged again when I receive a credit card from my new bank. Was I accidentally charged twice? And do I have to pay an additional €30 if I open a new credit card account? David, Letterkenny

A An annual stamp duty of €30 is levied on all credit card accounts. Stamp duty is debited from your account by your credit card provider each year on April 1st for the previous year. So the stamp duty that was deducted from your credit card account in April this year was for the year 2021.

When you closed your account in July you were then charged €30 stamp duty for 2022. You should have received a closure letter from Ulster Bank or KBC to confirm this payment.

Your bank has rightly charged you both times, but you don’t have to pay twice for 2022. You can ensure this doesn’t happen by giving your new credit card provider this cancellation letter from your old bank.

Before deciding on a new credit card provider, be sure to check out CCPC’s credit card cost comparison tool to ensure you’re getting the card that best suits your needs.

“How can I make sure the lights, costumes and decorations I’m buying for my son’s Halloween party are safe?”

Q I am throwing a Halloween party for my 7 year old son and his friends later this month. I’m planning to buy some decorations and lights online, but I just saw a post on Facebook about novelty lights causing a house fire. Is there a way to verify that the Halloween lights, costumes, and decorations I’m buying are safe? Marian, Co. Wexford

A A little planning and careful shopping go a long way in keeping you, your family, and your guests safe this Halloween.

First, all electrical products sold in the European Union must meet certain safety requirements, show full contact details of the manufacturer and importer, and carry a visible CE mark to show that the products have undergone safety testing in their design and manufacture.

I recommend you buy from trusted retailers and always check for the CE mark before using the products.

If any lights, toys or decorations you buy require batteries, make sure that children cannot open the battery compartment.

Do not mix old and new batteries – or batteries of different strengths – in a single item as this can cause the batteries to become very hot.

Make sure small button batteries are kept away from children as these batteries can be dangerous if swallowed.

Children’s costumes, masks, wigs and costume accessories are considered toys and must therefore bear the CE mark.

Look for age warnings on these toys and be aware of detachable small parts that could get into a child’s ears, nose or throat and cause injury or a choking hazard.

When making a costume for your child, make sure you don’t use potentially hazardous or flammable materials such as plastics, glue, aerosol cans, or cotton wool.

Make sure any costume accessories – like swords or devil’s forks – are made of soft, flexible materials. Props purchased for children’s costumes may not qualify as toys and therefore may not meet these EU safety requirements.

Occasionally products are found to be unsafe and are recalled from the market.

We maintain a full list of recalled products on our website and we also inform consumers through our social media channels.

If you purchase any of these products, you have consumer rights under Irish law. So keep your receipts or other proof of purchase and use your 14-day right of withdrawal if you change your mind after purchasing a product online.

Also remember that if an item is faulty or not as described, you have the right to a repair, replacement or refund.

Finally, avoid any temptation to light candles for the Halloween party to reduce the risk of costumes catching fire and remember that firecrackers are illegal as well as very dangerous for both children and adults.

Stay healthy and enjoy your party!

https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/readers-questions-i-was-charged-stamp-duty-twice-when-switching-banks-why-42068304.html Reader Questions – “When I switched banks, I was billed twice for stamp duty. Why?’

Fry Electronics Team

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