Overview United Kingdom VAT

If your company is not established in the UK and is providing ‘taxable supplies’ of goods or services in the UK, it might have to attain a non-resident VAT registration. This follows the EU VAT Directive, foreign traders are legally obliged to register for VAT in certain situations, in order to report taxable transactions and declare the VAT that needs be charged.

It is imperative that all businesses with any commercial actions in the UK evaluate their compliance responsibilities and register before beginning any taxable transactions, if applicable.

What you should know

There are numerous circumstances in the UK that can generate the responsibility to register for VAT. Below are some of the most common cases:

  • Goods being imported into the UK from outside the EU;
  • Goods being bought or sold in the UK;
  • Selling goods from the UK that are delivered to customers out with the UK (this applies to business or private customers);
  • Obtaining goods in the UK from another country within the EU (Intra-community acquisitions);
  • Inventory of stock in the UK for sale, circulation or delivery;
  • eCommerce sales of goods to customers, subject to Distance Selling VAT registration thresholds;
  • Arranging events in the UK, if attendees or delegates pay admission.

If you are presently, or planning to conduct any of the above (or similar) transactions in the UK, you should contact amavat® immediately to allow us to help you be VAT compliant.

VAT Rates, the Formats & the Thresholds

VAT Rates VAT No. Format Distance Selling Threshold Intrastat Threshold
20% (Standard)
0/5% (Reduced)
UK123456789 GBP 70,000 £ 1,500,000 (Arrivals)
£ 250,000 (Dispatches)

*amavat® accept no responsibility for the above figures being 100% accurate, at all times. They will periodically updated - last update 27 May, 2019.

Additional VAT information for the UK

‘VAT Return’ Periods
Monthly or quarterly

‘Annual Returns’
Not required

‘EC Sales Lists’ frequency
Monthly or quarterly

‘EC Purchase Lists’
Not required

Additional reporting requirements
Not required

Extended ‘Reverse Charge’
Services which are provided by a non-established business to a VAT registered customer in the UK, would be subject to the reverse charge and the customer would account for the VAT. Please contact amavat® if you would like further information of how the extended reverse charge applies in UK.

‘Fiscal Representation’
The tax authority might need the appointment of a tax representative, if the business is established in a non-EU country with no common assistance arrangements in the UK.