Postponed VAT accounting (UK)

Feb 23, 2021

If your business is registered for VAT in the UK, you may be able to account for import VAT on your VAT Return (Postponed VAT Accounting). Accounting for import VAT on your VAT Return means you will declare and recover import VAT on the same VAT Return, rather than having to pay it upfront and recover it later.

Who can account for import VAT on their VAT Return?

Businesses registered for VAT in the UK can account for import VAT on their VAT Return for goods imported into:

  • Great Britain from anywhere outside the UK
  • Northern Ireland from outside the UK and EU.

You can also account for import VAT for goods you move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland that are declared into a customs special procedure, when they are removed from that special procedure.

There are no changes to the treatment of VAT, or how you account for it, for the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and the EU.

You do not need any approval to account for import VAT on your VAT Return.

The normal rules about what VAT can be reclaimed as input tax will apply.

A specific policy paper covering the VAT treatment of imported goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK and the EU is available.