United Kingdom United Kingdom

Goods

This guide is for e-commerce companies that sell online via web stores or at marketplaces.


VAT Standard rate

The standard VAT rate in the United Kingdom in 2022 is 20%.

 

VAT Reduced rate

5%
Some goods and services, for examples children’s car seats, mobility aids for the elderly, smoking cessation products – nicotine patches and gum.

 

Zero rate

Equipment for disabled people;
Sanitary protection products;
Low vision aids.

 

Thresholds

As the UK left the EU distant sales threshold is no longer applies to distant sales to the UK. The exemption is sales between Northern Ireland and the EU. Distant sales threshold is £70,000 for goods sold from The EU to Northern Ireland customers.

As the UK left the EU distant sales threshold no longer applies to distant sales to the UK. The exemption that exists for goods between Northern Ireland and the EU doesn’t include sales of services. That means that for non-UK businesses VAT registration obligation starts from the first B2C sale.
For UK-based businesses, there is a local sales threshold of £85,000. That threshold is only applicable for UK established businesses selling to UK customers.

 

Deductible VAT 

If goods or services were used to make taxable supplies in the UK, VAT in input invoices might be credited. For example:

  • VAT paid at custom clearance with your EORI number
  • VAT paid to the UK suppliers

You may be able to reclaim VAT paid on goods or services bought before you registered for VAT if the purchases were made within certain time limits.

Registration procedure

To register, you need to create a personal account on the website of the tax department and send an online application. Usually, the application is considered within 30 days. After that, Tax Team may send you an additional request for documents or information.

VAT payment date

The deadline for VAT payment coincides with the deadline for submitting the VAT declaration.

Filing VAT returns

You must submit your return online to HMRC unless:

  • Your business is subject to an insolvency procedure – if you have a Company Voluntary Arrangement or an Individual Voluntary Arrangement you can submit your return online if you want to
  • You object to using computers on religious grounds
  • You can not because of your age, a disability or because of where you live, for example, you do not have internet access.

Lovat platform supports digital submission.

You usually submit a VAT Return to HMRC every 3 months. This period of time is known as your accounting period. Check your VAT Return and payment deadlines in your VAT online account.

It is necessary to submit declarations no later than 7 days the second month following the reporting period.

Penalties

HMRC can charge you a penalty of up to:

  • 100% of any tax under-stated or over-claimed if you send a return that contains a careless or deliberate inaccuracy
  • 30% of an assessment if HMRC sends you one that’s too low and you do not tell them it’s wrong within 30 days
  • £400 if you submit a paper VAT return, unless HMRC has told you you’re exempt from submitting your return using your VAT online account or Making Tax Digital compatible software
Digital services

VAT standard rate

The standard VAT rate in the United Kingdom in 2022 is 20%.

 

VAT reduced rate

5% 

 

VAT zero-rated

0% 

 

Threshold

As the UK left the EU distant sales threshold is no longer applies to distant sales to the UK. The exemption that exists for goods between Northern Ireland and the EU doesn’t include sales of services. That means that for non- UK business VAT registration obligation starts from the first B2C sale.

Pieces of evidence

Examples of the type of supporting evidence that tax authorities will accept include:

  • The billing address of the buyer
  • The IP-address of the device used by the consumer
  • buyer’s bank details
  • The country code of the SIM card used by the buyer
  • The location of the consumer’s fixed landline through which the service is supplied
  • Other commercially relevant information – for example, product coding information which electronically links the sale to a particular jurisdiction

We strongly advise you to keep proof of the seller’s location, which can confirm the correctness of the calculated VAT.

Defining digital services (E-services list)

Radio and television broadcasting services, which include:

  • Provision of audio and audiovisual content for simultaneous listening or viewing by the general public based on the schedule of programs by the person in charge of editorial
  • Live streaming through the internet if broadcast аt the sаme time as transmission by radio or television

Telecommunications services means transmission of signals of any nature by wire, optical, electromagnetic or other system and include:

  • Fixed and mobile telephone services for the transmission and switching of voice, data and video, including telephone services with an imaging component, otherwise known as videophone services
  • Telephone services given through the internet, including Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
  • Voice mail, call waiting, call forwarding, caller identification, 3-way calling and other call management services
  • Paging services
  • Access to the internet

Electronically supplied services – these rules only apply to e-services that you supply electronically and includes things like:

  • Supplies of images or text, such as photos, screensavers, e-books and other digitized documents, for example, PDF files
  • Supplies of music, films and games, including games of chance and gambling games, and programmes on demand
  • Online magazines
  • Website supply or web hosting services
  • Distance maintenance of programmes and equipment
  • Supplies of software and software updates
  • Advertising space on a website

Digital services taxation rules do not apply to services provided only by telephone, such as call centre support services.

Registration procedure

If your supplies are liable to UK VAT you will need to register for UK VAT if you are based outside the UK.

To register, you need to create a personal account on the website of the tax department and send an online application. Usually, the application is considered within 30 days. After that, Tax Team may send you an additional request for documents or information.

VAT returns filing date

The standard VAT tax period is a quarter. You can check your VAT Return and payment deadlines in your VAT online account.

It is necessary to submit declarations no later than 7 days the second month following the reporting period.

Keeping records

You must keep VAT records for at least 6 years.

You can keep VAT records on paper, electronically or as part of a software program (such as book-keeping software). Records must be accurate, complete and readable.

Records you must keep include:

  • Copies of all invoices you issue
  • All invoices you receive (originals or electronic copies)
  • Self-billing agreements – this is where the customer prepares the invoice
  • Name, address and VAT number of any self-billing suppliers
  • Debitor credit notes
  • Import and export records
  • Records of items you cannot reclaim VAT on – for example, business entertainment
  • Records of any goods you give away or take from stock for your private use
  • Records of all the zero-rated, reduced or VAT exempt items you buy or sell
  • A VAT account
  • You must also keep general business records such as bank statements, cash books, cheque stubs, paying-in slips and till rolls
  • If you use the Cash Accounting Scheme you must use these records to match them against your payment records and receipts

If you’ve signed up for Making Tax Digital for VAT, you must keep a digital record of anything that is needed for your VAT Return (your business name, address and VAT registration number, any VAT accounting schemes you use, the ‘time of supply’ and ‘value of supply’ (value excluding VAT) for everything you buy and sell, the VAT on everything you buy and sell. You must add all your transactions to your digital records, but you do not need to scan paper records like invoices or receipts.)

Penalties

Penalties for late filing of the declaration from 2 to 15 percent. The amount of the fine depends on the number of months of delay and the annual turnover.