Value Added Tax

Imports ― overview

Produced by Tolley
  • 27 Jan 2022 10:21

The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Imports ― overview
  • What are the main VAT considerations when importing goods?
  • Related reading

Imports ― overview

This guidance provides an overview of VAT and imports of goods into the UK.

In-depth commentary on the legislation and case law on imports of goods can be found in De Voil Indirect Tax Service V3.301.

What are the main VAT considerations when importing goods?

There are a number of key VAT areas to consider when importing goods. The table below summarises many of these, and also links to more detailed guidance on each of these subjects:

Area to considerDescriptionGuidance
Place of supply of goodsFor VAT purposes, it is very important to consider the ‘place of supply’ of a transaction, as only supplies made in the UK are subject to UK VAT (although note that import VAT can still be due in respect of non-UK supplies)Place of supply of goods
Meaning of importA business needs to know whether something is an import for VAT purposes or notImports ― meaning of import and VAT on imports
Import VATIt will often be necessary to determine whether import VAT is due on goods brought into the UKImports ― meaning of import and VAT on imports
Postponed accountingMost VAT-registered businesses will be able to account for VAT under postponed accounting (via their VAT returns)Imports ― postponed

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