EU VAT Refunds after Brexit

VAT-registered businesses can use the VAT refund scheme to reclaim the VAT on business expenses incurred elsewhere in the EU. This obviously works both ways, so if you sell products and services into the EU zone, you do not need to charge VAT, if the recipient is a VAT registered business. We use the VIES API to confirm VAT registration that works really well and will continue to after Brexit. But, what happens in March 2019 when the UK leave the EU customers zone?

It is a question that I looked into a couple of week ago, as we have a number of bespoke ERP systems and e-commerce websites that may need changes prior to next year and wanted to get ahead of the game, to ensure our clients are not effected by the changes.

We've recently completed a plug-in for the Australian Goods and Services Tax (GST) and that prompted my initial curiosity.

So, I started with some searched using my favours search engine and found an article on HMRC published in August this year.

VAT for businesses if there's no Brexit deal

Obviously HMRC are aiming for continuity, but will they be able to achieve it? We simply do not know at this stage and it is interesting they have added a link to the following guidance notice:

Trading with the EU if there's no Brexit deal

There's a lovely paragraph towards the end of the first guidance note:

"This note summarises the main VAT issues for UK businesses in the unlikely event the UK leaves the EU without a deal. Some detail is not yet available but further information will be provided in due course."

Obviously, after yesterday's announcements of the prime ministers draft deal, we'll have to wait and see what actually happens with VAT after Brexit, but I am surprised that accountants are jumping up and down about this, as well as numerous other issues like Making Tax Digital (MTD) that I wrote about yesterday.

Other reading

You might also find the following article of interest: A Brexit Risk Assessment for UK-only businesses.

Date: 21/11/2018


If you like to get in touch, please telephone our offices on +44 (0) 1364 582017 or complete our on-line form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.


Stay in touch with what we're up to at Ayrmer Software by following us on one of our social media feeds: we'd be delighted to welcome you as a follower on twitter, become friends on facebook or add us to your circle on Google+. You'll also find us on Linkedin, of course.


We launched COB in an attempt to save on back office administration processing and reduce the amount of bad debt. Despite the initial teething problems (not caused by the software [Cob] but parents not doing as asked) it has saved time, money and re...

Helen Sherriff Business Manager
Elburton Primary School

Read more ...