Michaela Merz


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UK – EU VAT refunds amended legislation in connection with Brexit


HMRC confirmed that the transitional legislation for EU VAT refunds under Part 20 of the VAT Regulations 1995 has been amended to reflect the change in Exit Day from 29 March 2019. The revised legislation was laid on 5 September 2019. You can access a copy of it from this link >

 

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UNITED KINGDOM: UK firms will receive customs numbers that will let them trade with EU after Brexit


Thousands of British firms will finally be given crucial paperwork that allows them to continue trading with the EU after a no-deal Brexit. After months of demands from businesses, more than 88’000 VAT-registered companies will be given a registration number in the next two weeks that allows EU customs authorities to identify them.

Without the paperwork, known as an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number, UK firms would not be allowed to trade with the EU after 31 October 2019.

 

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UK: Only the owner of the imported goods can deduct the import VAT as from 15 of July 2019


HMRC is aware of incorrect treatment by businesses whereby import VAT has been incorrectly deducted as input tax by non-owners of the goods.  As from 15th July 2019, HMRC will only allow claims for input VAT deduction if the owner is the importer and pays the UK import VAT. In case the non-owner is the importer and pays the UK import VAT, HMRC will not allow an input VAT deduction. A transitional period to 15th July 2019 has been put in place for businesses to make any necessary changes and implement correct procedures. This is especially important for toll manufacturer, who are acting as importer and recover the import VAT paid. These toll manufacturer does not own the goods.

Toll operators  import goods, process them and distribute them within or outside of the UK but to other EU countries (for instance for clinical trials). The toll operator does not take ownership of the goods and does not resell them. The only supply by the toll operator is of its services to its client not resident and not registered for VAT in UK (the owner of the imported goods).

Title to the goods at all times remains with the owners. However, the toll operator acts as ‘importer of record’ on UK import declarations, pays the import VAT to HMRC and receives the import VAT certificate (C79). HMRC has become aware that a number of UK toll operators who have paid import VAT on behalf of their not resident and not VAT  registered customers have also claimed a corresponding deduction for input tax under section 24 of the VAT Act 1994. However, there is no provision in UK law for such deduction.

There is no evidence to suggest that the businesses concerned have knowingly applied the wrong treatment. In all cases seen by HMRC, the toll operator has dealt with the importation and paid or claimed the import VAT to provide an administrative and cash flow benefit to their customers, as part of the overall service they provide.

The correct procedure is for the owner to be the importer of record and reclaim the import VAT, either in accordance with section 24 of the VAT Act 1994 (if registered for VAT in the UK) or under the Thirteenth VAT Directive (86/560/EEC).

For further details please see here >

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UK – HMRC to introduce new penalties for even unknown involvement in VAT fraud


Tower Bridge in London28 of September HM revenue and Customs (HMRC) published consultation about new penalties regime for participation in VAT fraud. If the government decides to proceed it will be included in Finance Bill 2017. Based on HMRCHMR experience the vast majority of customers meet their obligations. Penalties are only applied to a small minority of taxpayers. The penalty regime has to encourage compliance and prevent non-compliance. There is no objective to raise revenue with penalties. Penalties should be proportionate to the offence and may take into account past behaviour however consistent and standardised approach has to be applied. Penalties are designed in the way that compliant customers are in a better position than the non-compliant customers therefore penalties have to be a real threat. Continue reading


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Brexit- what does it mean from a Tax perspective


united kingdom exit from europe relative image

What might the implications of Great Britain’s vote to leave be from a VAT perspective?

As the UK must give the European Council notice of intention to withdraw, there is likely to be a period where current law applies, both EU and UK law whilst a Brexit agreement is negotiated. All treaties would cease to apply from entry into force of the withdrawal agreement, or two years from the date of notice. We do not expect a considerable change for at least 2 years.

Which areas of VAT law might change in a UK free from the EU VAT directive?

In the short term at least, it is unlikely that the UK government will rip up VAT law – VAT accounts for >20% of UK tax revenues, is a relatively stable, understood tax – and thereforewholesale changes are unlikely. Continue reading