Guidance

VAT IT system rules and processes in a no-deal Brexit

Changes to the way you pay or reclaim VAT if the UK leaves EU-wide VAT IT systems.

This guidance was withdrawn on

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The UK will leave the EU on 31 October. This page tells you how to prepare for Brexit. It will be updated if anything changes, including if a deal is agreed.

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UK businesses will need to apply the same processes to EU trade that apply when trading with the rest of the world.

This guidance does not apply to goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The rules and processes for VAT IT systems will change for businesses that:

  • claim VAT refunds from EU member states
  • need to check if a UK VAT registration number is valid
  • report sales of digital services to consumers in the EU using the UK VAT Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS)
  • are under the VAT digital services threshold and make sales of digital services to consumers in the EU

Claiming EU VAT refunds

If you want to use the EU VAT refund electronic system to submit a refund claim for 2018 or 2019 you’ll need to do so before 5pm on the day the UK leaves the EU. If you submit a claim after that, HMRC will not be able to send your claim on to the relevant EU member state.

After Brexit, you must claim VAT refunds from EU member states by using the relevant member state’s existing process for businesses based outside the EU. This includes outstanding claims that relate to VAT incurred on expenses in 2018 and 2019.

The process many change for different EU member states. For example:

  • the deadline for making your claim may be different
  • you may need to supply a certificate of taxable status to support your claim
  • you may need to appoint a tax representative in the EU member state of refund

Check the EU’s Europa website for country specific information on VAT.

You’ll still be able use the EU VAT refund system to view your previous claims.

Checking a VAT number

If you need to make sure a business is VAT registered as part of your due diligence checks, you:

  • will be able to check UK-only VAT numbers on GOV.UK - this will be available after Brexit
  • can continue to use the EU’s VAT number validation service to check if a EU VAT number is valid

Using the UK’s VAT Mini One Stop Shop

Before Brexit, you can continue to use the UK’s VAT MOSS to declare sales of digital services to EU consumers. Use the system as normal to submit returns and make payments for period where you were registered for UK VAT MOSS.

You will not be able to use the system to declare VAT on sales of digital services to UK and EU consumers after Brexit. Only sales made before Brexit should be included in your UK MOSS return. The final return period for UK MOSS will be the reporting period in which Brexit takes place.

If you wish to continue to use MOSS after Brexit, you will need to register for MOSS in an EU member state.

To allow you to do this, you will be automatically deregistered from the UK MOSS system. You will still be able to access the system after you have been deregistered to:

  • submit your final UK MOSS return by the normal deadline
  • submit outstanding returns and amend previously submitted returns until the day the UK leaves the EU
  • amend your final UK MOSS return and update your registration details until 15th day following the month the return is submitted
  • view previous returns - if you need to amend a previous MOSS return after Brexit, you will need to contact the EU member state concerned

Sales of digital services after Brexit

If you’re currently using the UK VAT MOSS Union scheme, you can continue to use the MOSS system but must register in an EU member state.

If you want to continue to use MOSS, you must register for the scheme by the 10th day of the month following your first sale after Brexit. For example, you’ll need to register by 10 December 2019 if the UK leaves the EU on 31 October and you make a sale between 1 and 30 November.

You will only be able to register for MOSS in an EU member state after Brexit.

Alternatively, you can register for VAT in each EU member state where you make sales of digital services to consumers. Check the EU’s Europa website for further information.

If you’re not a UK business, but are currently using UK VAT MOSS non-Union scheme, you’ll need to:

  • register for the non-Union scheme in an EU member state
  • register for VAT in the UK and declare their sales of digital services to UK consumers via a UK VAT return

Digital services threshold

After Brexit, all supplies of digital services to consumers in EU member states become liable for VAT in the consumer’s member state. The £8,818 annual threshold for cross-border sales of digital services to EU consumers will no longer apply.

You will have to charge VAT at the rate where your customer is based and declare those sales to the relevant EU member state.

To declare the VAT charge, you can register for VAT in each EU member state where sales are made or register for the VAT MOSS non-Union scheme in an EU member state of your choice.

Published 4 February 2019
Last updated 6 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. 'Claiming EU VAT refunds' has been amended to clarify that to use the EU VAT refund electronic system to submit a refund claim for 2018, you’ll need to do so by 5pm on 29 March 2019.
  2. First published.