Act Fast – EU VAT Refunds, UK Business & Brexit


Keith Miller

Keith is an experienced VAT adviser who has been advising businesses for almost 30 years.

Brexit + EU VAT Claims… The Need for Speed

Tax is, of course, one of those areas, for which Brexit (in whatever form it takes) could have a significant impact. Indeed, we have recently produced a Brexit and UK taxation white paper outlining our view on the future of tax in the event of a no deal Brexit.

Whilst acknowledging that the subject of Brexit is starting to get a little stale for a lot of people; like many others, ETC Tax continue to actively follow the developing situation.

For those businesses buying goods and services from overseas, it is clear that their VAT position, in particular, may require some urgent action.

Indeed, the window of opportunity to ensure that they don’t find themselves out of pocket may well be closing without them realising, and relates to refund claims for VAT paid in other EU countries.

Normally, a UK business that incurs VAT costs in other EU countries would submit a single claim through HMRC.

Claims are typically made for VAT costs in a calendar year and need to be submitted by 30 June the following year.

However, HMRC have advised that because of the threat of a no-deal Brexit, UK business should submit 2018 claims by 29 March 2019. The EU Commission has even suggested that claims might need to be processed by 29 March 2019, so need to be submitted as soon as possible to minimise the risk of claims not being processed in time.

UK businesses that wish to recover EU VAT paid in 2018 (and any EU VAT paid so far in 2019) should therefore submit a claim to HMRC as a matter of urgency.

If claims are not accepted under the EU process, they may instead have to be submitted under a separate process that applies to non-EU businesses.

Not only do non-EU businesses have to make separate claims to each EU country, causing an administrative headache, but also the reference dates for non-EU businesses are different and indeed the deadline for pre-July 2018 VAT costs has already passed.

If you or your clients have any concerns in relation to EU VAT refunds, or any other tax matters relating to Brexit, please do contact us at or on 01925 363006.

Read more about Brexit below…

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