HMRC have released 'Revenue and Customs Brief 15 (2021): Repayment of VAT to overseas business not established in the EU and not registered in the UK'. Certificates required from non-UK authorities by HMRC to authorise refunds can now be provided after the normal due date in exceptional circumstances relating to COVID-19.

This brief covers the outcome of the policy review which was outlined in Revenue and Customs Brief 10 (2021).  

The overseas VAT refund scheme allows overseas businesses to reclaim UK VAT incurred for their operations by submitting an application to HMRC by 31 December 2021. This application required a certificate of status from a non-UK jurisdiction.

As a result of COVID-19 HMRC has agreed that it will allow more time for such certificates to be provided in exceptional circumstances which are caused by one-off unavoidable events which will include:

  • Global pandemics.
  • National epidemics.
  • National emergencies.
  • Government shutdown.

Businesses must still:

  • Submit all other documents for the claim by the relevant dates in the usual way.
  • Apply for the certificate from the relevant official authority before the deadline.
  • Supply the certificate within a reasonable time (usually 30 days) after it has been received.
  • Evidence should also be retained to confirm that the certificate was requested in time and to confirm why the delay has occurred.

Certificates for the period from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020 must be supplied to HMRC within 30 days of receipt by the business.

No refunds will be paid until the certificates are received.

Useful guides on this topic

R & C Brief 10 (2021): Repayment of VAT to overseas businesses not established in the EU and not VAT registered in the UK
HMRC have published Revenue & Customs Brief 10 (2021): ‘Repayment of VAT to overseas businesses not established in the EU and not VAT registered in the UK’, announcing a further deadline extension to the overseas VAT refund scheme, following continued difficulties faced by some businesses in obtaining a certificate of status. 

Place of supply: Goods
The Place Of Supply (POS) of goods determines whether the supply is within the scope of UK VAT and whether VAT is payable on that supply.

International Goods
Special VAT rules apply to goods bought from and sold to non-UK businesses.

How to reclaim VAT on business expenses in the EU
This is a freeview 'At a glance' guide to reclaiming VAT on EU purchases.

External link

Revenue and Customs Brief 15 (2021) : repayment of VAT to overseas business not established in the EU and not registered in the UK


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