VAT News

Overpaid VAT on Imports? – HMRC Reclaim Process


There have been a number of situations where importers have found that entries through Customs Handling of Import and Exports Freight system (CHIEF) has resulted in overpayments of VAT and duty. HMRC have updated their guidance on how to claim back such overpayments and the link to that is here

It continues to be our experience that clients are still getting to grips with the practicalities of managing VAT processes around importing and exporting goods although certainly things are settling in to place more. Issues tend to crop up when staff are new in roles, or the organisation is an infrequent importer or exporter. For our larger clients it’s been the issue of actually finding and capturing the activity – especially in regard to importations of smaller items or indeed services purchased from suppliers outside the UK - where staff have delegated budgets to manage or use corporate purchasing cards to give them flexibility on buying.

The use of Postponed VAT Accounting has also become more familiar to importers and certainly offers an improved cashflow opportunity as opposed to paying VAT at the point of entry into the UK.

As ever, if VAT gets complicated for you around importing and exporting then Centurion are here to assist.


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