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Deduction of import VAT: owners only

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Following a review, HMRC has confirmed that its policy on the deduction of import VAT paid by a taxable person who is not the owner of the relevant goods (as set out in Revenue & Customs Brief 2/2019) is correct. Brief 2/2019 restated the long-standing policy, as set out in HMRC’s VAT Input Tax Manual (at VIT31100) that: ‘import VAT may only be claimed by the owner of the goods who as importer of record would be entitled to reclaim the import VAT either in accordance with VATA 1994 s 24 (if registered for VAT in the UK) or under Directive 86/560 (the 13th Directive) if they are not registered for VAT in the UK’.

Revenue & Customs Brief 15/2020 confirms the treatment, and is essential reading for non-owners who have reclaimed import VAT on goods imported into the UK, and agents dealing with businesses importing goods to the UK. Transitional arrangements were available up to 15 July 2019, to allow businesses to adjust, but the Brief confirms that HMRC will now only allow claims made using the correct procedures.

Issue: 1504
Categories: News