Changes to accounting for VAT for Northern Ireland and Great Britain from 1 January 2021

This guidance gives information about when you can, or need to, account for VAT on your tax return if you're a UK VAT-registered business.



The Northern Ireland Protocol means that Northern Ireland maintains alignment on some administrative processes within the EU VAT rules for goods, including on goods moving to, from and within Northern Ireland. However, Northern Ireland is, and will remain, part of the UK’s VAT system, and the rules will continue to be largely aligned.

Northern Ireland will remain aligned with the rest of the UK for VAT processes related to transactions in services. HMRC will continue to be responsible for the operation and collection of the revenues in Northern Ireland.

Published 26 October 2020
Last updated 18 May 2022 + show all updates
  1. More detailed information has been added about businesses moving their own goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain.

  2. The document 'Check if you're trading under the Northern Ireland protocol and what to do' has been removed. Full guidance on selling or moving goods in Northern Ireland is available within the VAT registration guide.

  3. New guidance added to the 'VAT on goods sold from Great Britain, transported via Northern Ireland, to an EU member state'. This explains the changes to VAT treatment according to where the goods are situated at the point at which the transfer of rights to the goods takes place.

  4. Accounting for VAT on services between the UK and EU member states from 1 January 2021 and goods moved between Great Britain and the EU from 1 January 2021 has been added.

  5. Update to information on the VAT Retail Export Scheme.

  6. Additional information added about trading under the Northern Ireland protocol.

  7. We have updated "Accounting VAT on goods sold between Great Britain and Northern Ireland", including new sections: VAT Retail Export Scheme, Personal exports of vehicles from Northern Ireland to Great Britain and Fiscal Warehouses. We have also added 3 additions to the policy paper: "How VAT will apply for goods imported into Northern Ireland from outside the UK or EU", "How to claim a refund of VAT paid in an EU member state" and "Check if you're trading under the Northern Ireland protocol".

  8. First published.