Tax warehouses

Produced by Tolley
Tax warehouses

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

  • Tax warehouses
  • Tax warehouses
  • Trading in a tax warehouse
  • Deficiencies
  • Removing goods from the warehouse to the UK
  • Accounting for VAT on goods removed
  • Removal documents
  • Claiming input tax
  • Removing goods from the tax warehouse to an overseas location
  • Removing own goods to an overseas destination
  • More...

This note provides an overview of the VAT treatment of supplies and processes that are undertaken in a tax warehouse storing goods that are liable to excise duty. Please note that this guidance note only deals with the UK aspects. If goods are being moved in or out of a tax warehouse in another EU country it will be necessary to check local requirements.

Please note that all references to EU countries below relate to VAT territories within the EU (not the same as customs territories) and more information can be found in the EU countries ― VAT compliance information guidance note.

Tax warehouses are premises that have been authorised by HMRC where goods that are subject to excise duty can be produced, processed, held, received or dispatched under duty suspension regimes by an authorised warehouse-keeper. They include the following premises:

  1. distilleries

  2. excise warehouses

  3. refineries, and

  4. registered premises / stores

Please see HMRC Excise Notice 197 for more information on the requirements imposed upon an excise warehouse-keeper.

Trading in a tax warehouse

If a business’ only activities in the UK are trading goods located in a tax warehouse then there will be no requirement to register for UK VAT, as the activities undertaken in the warehouse are not taken into consideration when determining whether the UK VAT registration threshold has been exceeded. However the business can elect to register voluntarily in the UK if this is desirable in order to recover input tax incurred under VATA 1994, Sch 1(10). If the business undertakes activities in the UK outside of the warehouse then it may need to register for VAT in respect of those activities if they exceed the VAT registration threshold. Please see the Overview ― registering for VAT guidance note for more information on registering for VAT in the UK.

No VAT is due when goods liable to excise duty are placed in a tax warehouse that has been approved for those goods. VAT may become

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