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HMRC internal manual

VAT Single Market

Supply and acquisition: acquisition: introduction

The term ‘acquisition’ is applied to goods received in the UK by a VAT registered business from a supplier who is also registered for VAT in the Member State from which they were dispatched. The acquirer is required to account for UK VAT at the rate that would have applied had it been a domestic supply. VAT is therefore not due on the acquisition of goods which are currently zero-rated in the UK, for example books.

The VAT is accounted for on the acquirer’s VAT return covering the period in which the acquisition occurs (see VATSM3420). The tax may be recovered as input tax on the same VAT return subject to the normal rules.