Cross-border VAT issues

Cross-border VAT rules are complex and seeking specialist advice, to ensure both compliance and tax efficiency, is a wise move.

Milsted Langdon’s international tax team are ideally placed to assist firms already involved in cross-border trade or those preparing to do business abroad. Some key cross-border VAT issues include:

  • Generally speaking, goods exported outside the EU or to VAT-registered businesses within the EU are eligible to be zero-rated for VAT. VAT on goods imported from within or outside the EU can be reclaimed
  • In general, for transactions between businesses involving services, the place of supply is generally regarded as the country where the customer is based
  • Where a business buys services from a business in another country, they must account for the VAT under the reverse charge. Where this applies, the purchasing business charges itself the VAT and then, assuming that the service relates to VAT taxable supplies that it makes, also claims it back
  • For business to non-business supplies of most services, UK suppliers charge UK VAT to overseas customers
  • UK-VAT registered businesses that supply taxable services goods or services to EU businesses, where the place of supply is the customer’s country, must complete an EC Sales List (ESL) every calendar quarter, listing these services, filing them with HM Revenue & Customs within 14 days of period end for paper returns and within 21 days for electronic returns
  • Claims for recovery of VAT incurred in other EU countries must be made via an electronic system introduced in January 2010

Our international tax team  is able to advise and work with your business to ensure that their VAT systems are operating correctly and compliantly and that they are meeting all their obligations in the most VAT-efficient manner.

To find out how our international tax advisers can help you, please contact us.

Meet the team

Rachael Verinder
Rachael Verinder
Tax Partner
Rob Chedzoy
Rob Chedzoy
Tax Partner
Julian Borley
Julian Borley
Director of VAT
Michael Bagg
Michael Bagg
Tax Director
Hannah Gooding
Hannah Gooding
Senior Tax Manager
Leon Cane
Leon Cane
Tax Manager
Tim Rowe
Tim Rowe
Tax Manager
Vanessa Clark
Vanessa Clark
Tax Manager