Tax warehouses

By Tolley

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

  • Tax warehouses
  • Tax warehouses
  • Trading in a tax warehouse
  • Removing goods from the warehouse to the UK
  • Removing goods from the tax warehouse to an overseas location
  • Removing own goods to an overseas destination
  • Drawback (refund) goods
  • Providing services in a tax warehouse

This note provides an overview of the VAT treatment of supplies and processes that are undertaken in a tax warehouse storing goodsthat are liable to excise duty. Please note that this guidance note only deals with the UK aspects. If goodsare 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

Tax warehouses are premises that have been authorised by HMRC where goodsthat 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:

HMRC Notice 702/10 ; 2006/112/EC , Article 155; VATA 1994, s 18; SI 2010/593, reg 3(1); De Voil Indirect Tax Service V3.332, V5.141
  • distilleries
  • excise warehouses
  • refineries, and
  • 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 goodslocated 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

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