Confused about VAT and Northern Ireland?

Confused about VAT and Northern Ireland?

You would certainly not be alone if you’d been feeling confused about VAT and Northern Ireland.  There’s this large slice of illogicality sitting on top of the subject, it really is hard to understand.  Worse, once you think you have it nailed, a week goes by and your brain rebels and throws you back into the land of confusion.

How can it be right that NI is in the UK for some things and in the EU for others?  Try to apply logic to this puzzle and you will be forced to come up with the wrong answer.

The confusing situation has been acknowledged by HMRC issuing guidance which you can find here

In practice the simplest way to come to terms with these hybrid rules is to apply them on a case by case basis.  So if you are confused about VAT and Northern Ireland start by –

  • Looking at where the parties belong.
  • Establish if and where they are VAT registered.
  • Where do any goods start and end their movement.
  • Who is issuing invoices and to whom?
  • Where does title change hands and who will act as the importer?

Once you know the nuts and bolts of the situation it should get easier to work out how to handle everything.  If you need help please give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

Posted in Brexit, HMRC, International.