Frequently Asked Questions
Will UK companies need to register VAT in the EU if stock is placed in the country of sales?
In the main VAT needs to be accounted for by a supplier at the place where ownership in that stock transfers to a customer. If that happens in another EU country it will likely require the UK supplier to have a VAT registration in that EU country. This is subject to any local rules around the supply of consigned inventory or by non-established suppliers. You should seek specific advice concerning a more detailed fact pattern.
When a UK retailer sends a parcel into the EU from the UK, e.g. for online sales - who should be made the importer of record, the customer or the retailer?
This will be a commercial decision and dependent on the terms of trade, and how the supplier wishes to market the sale - i.e. whether to advertise a single, landed, price which would involve the supplier taking on the import responsibilities. The impact on delivery times would also need to be considered.
From the UK perspective, do we now or will we after 29 March have to apply for the VAT deferment scheme? Or is it only when the scheme is confirmed because there is a definite no-deal?
We would suggest that the application is made now - a 'no deal' Brexit is, currently, still the legal default and as such, suitable preparations should be made now if the business wishes to import goods from the EU after 29 March.
Will a UK company need to charge all EU companies VAT on their invoices, even if the EU company is VAT registered? And similarlysimilarly, will UK VAT registered companies also then be charged VAT for goods purchased from the EU?
We assume the question relates to the supply of goods. The basic place of supply rules for goods is not changing. VAT will continue to be due at the place where ownership in the goods transfers. If goods are supplied in the UK to an EU customer and they remain in the UK, then UK VAT is most likely chargeable. The same applies in the EU for goods that a UK customer might acquire in the EU. If the supply of goods involves them being removed from the UK (or EU) then this will likely be treated as an export and be zero-rated. The main issue on the movement of goods between the UK and EU is the requirement to make a customs declaration, potential import duty and import VAT. This will add costs and compliance complexity. There are a number of additional areas that might need to be addressed in this question and so we encourage you to seek additional specific advice.
What about the process for claiming back import duties on movements into the EU from the UK?
Duties are, in principle, not recoverable in the same way that VAT is, and therefore potentially represent an absolute cost, although HMRC have announced that the majority of imports in the event of a no - deal will attract 0% rate of duty. There will remain opportunities to claim relief or suspension in certain circumstance e.g. inward processing.
We are a UK company with a German VAT registration, will this registration still be valid/fully operational post a no-deal Brexit?
Yes, the existing VAT registrations should not be affected by Brexit and should remain in place. It is only critical if you provided any supply without any VAT registration in past where a registration is required in future.
For businesses selling on the UK market and they already have a registered UK VAT number plus the required EORI, would it be also necessary to establish a local Fiscal representative?
The UK does not require a local fiscal representative for established or non-established VAT registrations and most VAT accounting processes can be managed from a non-UK location if that is what is preferred.
We are importing goods from Belgium in the UK. We have an office in the UK with VAT number. how can we register for deferred import tax?
HMRC have announced that 'postponed accounting' will be available to defer the payment of VAT to the VAT return. Details of goods imported will be set out on a monthly VAT certificate and the details entered on the appropriate VAT return on completion. The link here sets out further details https://www.gov.uk/guidance/accounting-for-import-vat#monthly-postponed-import-vat-statements-for-march-2019.
If selling B2B services to Germany will the UK company charge VAT post 29/32019?
B2B services that fall under the general rule - ie not otherwise specified for special treatment should not be subject to UK VAT and should be treated as outside the scope of UK VAT.