HMRC has published new guidance for VAT issues after the transition period ends.



Postponed VAT accounting.

Most businesses will use postponed VAT accounting for Imports (this will include goods from the EC which are currently called acquisitions). Taxpayers do not need to apply for this scheme.

How to complete your VAT Return?

An online monthly statement will be available to download and keep for your records. It will show the total import VAT postponed for the previous month which you should include on your VAT Return.

Due to postponed VAT accounting, there will be changes to the way you complete the boxes on your VAT Return.

Box 1

Include the VAT due in this period on imports accounted for through postponed VAT accounting.

Box 4

Include the VAT reclaimed in this period on imports accounted for through postponed VAT accounting.

Box 7

Include the total value of all imports of goods included in your online monthly statement, excluding any VAT.

If you’re eligible to defer your customs declarations

You must account for import VAT on your VAT Return which includes the date that you imported the goods. To complete the boxes on your VAT Return, you’ll need to estimate the import VAT due from your records of imported goods.

When you submit your deferred declaration, your next online monthly statement will show the amount of import VAT due on that declaration. You’ll then be able to adjust your estimate and account for any difference in your next VAT Return.



For exports (which will include EC sales) your business will need to get an EORI number. This is simple to do from the Gov.UK website. You will also need to register for the National Export System if you are moving goods without a customs intermediary.

Most exports will be zero-rated although UK companies must keep evidence of export to apply the zero rate. This will include documentary evidence of the transaction, invoices, and bills of lading amongst other things.

Customs processes are complicated, so many businesses use a customs intermediary to complete these processes for them.

If you move your own goods you will need to complete an export declaration using the National Export System (NES) which will give you a unique reference number. Then you will need to complete a transit declaration on the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS), which will give you another unique reference number.

How to complete your VAT Return?

Box 6

Include the total value of all exports of goods included on your online monthly statement.

Please note the above information is taken from HMRC documents, and may change if there is an agreement with the EU before the end of the transition period. Please contact your usual Hawsons representative should you have any queries.


Tony Nickson is a VAT Consultant at the firm. He provides practical VAT advice to a wide range of clients in numerous business sectors and advises on matters relating to sole proprietors, partnerships and corporate bodies on all VAT issues including exporting, importing or providing goods/services within the UK. Please contact Tony on [email protected] or 0114 266 7141.

Free initial consultation

Tony Nickson

VAT Consultant, Sheffield

0114 266 7141

[email protected]