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HMRC internal manual


HM Revenue & Customs
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Value for import VAT: normal rules: acceptability of declared value

Registered taxable persons

Where the value for VAT is based on the customs value plus any other costs which should be included for VAT purposes (Notice 702, Section 3), this value may be accepted without further enquiry unless:

  • it is clearly unrealistic, or
  • there is a commercial relationship between the importer and supplier.

Where the price payable is acceptable but the VAT value has been incorrectly calculated (eg by the omission of duty or costs which should be included), the importer or agent is to be required to amend the entry. However, where the VAT value is based on a duty value that is greater than the price payable, no amendment is necessary provided it is confirmed that the importer is knowingly paying the excess tax for administrative convenience.

Exempt persons

(Including private importers and registered taxable persons importing goods in circumstances where input tax deduction is unavailable or restricted). Extra vigilance is necessary in these circumstances due to the additional revenue risk arising from under declarations of tax that are wholly or partly non-recoverable.

Underpayments of VAT are to be treated in the same way as underpayments of duty.