January Newsletter 2021

Bevan VAT Newsletter


Of necessity, there are a lot of Brexit updates here. The guidance is still being updated regularly and it seems that some of the guidance, which has been released in a rush, is contradictory or doesn’t make any sense. 

The majority of the VAT rules have not charged as a result of the “deal” and are the same as covered in previous bulletins.  I include here, however, links to the up to date guidance for ease of reference. 

The new guidance which has been published over the last month is covered below in more detail. 

Transitional Rules 

The Brexit Transition Period ended at 11pm on 31 December 2020 UK time. It is entirely possible that some supplies may be made which span that time and so this document aims to se out how to deal with such supplies. 

If you make such supplies, you should read the guidance in detail or seek advice but, in essence: If the movement of goods starts before 11pm on 31 December, the supply will be treated as an acquisition/dispatch rather than an import/export. There are also detailed rules covering fulfilment houses, financial services, sales to consumers, etc. 

Northern Ireland 

A document published on 3rd December advises that businesses selling goods in Northern Ireland or from Northern Ireland to the EU must notify HMRC of that fact and be allocated an XI EORI number to be able to continue trading. 

The treatment of goods taken to Northern Ireland depends on whether they are “at risk” of subsequently being moved to the EU. Guidance published on 14th December explains how you can declare the goods you move are not at risk. Guidance has not yet been released explaining how/if this will be affected by the Brexit deal. 

New VAT Number Checker 

A benefit of being in the EU was that we could use the VIES system to check whether any VAT number was valid and to confirm the details of the business it related to.  

There is now a separate site, operated by HMRC which will allow UK VAT numbers to be checked. 

Withdrawal of the VAT Retail Export Scheme

This scheme allowed goods to non-EU residents to be zero rated when sold in airports, etc. This is removed from 1 January 2021 although will continue to be available in Northern Ireland subject to certain conditions. 


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