VAT News

What Export Evidence is needed to support VAT Zero Rating?


A recent case at the First Tier Tribunal is a useful reminder of a number of facts around the securing of appropriate export evidence to support the Zero rating of the Sales. It reminds us of:


  • The importance of getting export evidence in place in your business,
  • The risk of getting large VAT assessments if HMRC’s officers take the view the evidence is insufficient,
  • The length of the process and likely stress of going to an independent Tribunal to appeal a VAT assessment,
  • The fact that questions of the qualitative nature of export evidence are a matter for the Tribunal to determine and finally,
  • That HMRC’s interpretation of the requirements for Export Evidence, as noted in Public Notice 703, may be overly strict when the balance of evidence a business holds is considered.

Challenge over the availability and accuracy of Export Evidence has and will always be an area of great interest to HMRC as it is the key to justification of the VAT zero rate relief on the sales of goods that leave the UK.

There is a deal of government encouragement to the UK business community to look for sales growth into overseas markets and that is to be applauded. Attention is needed to due processes including accounting and VAT treatment however.


Centurion VAT will be in attendance at the Explore Export event to be held at Cardiff City Stadium on the 17 March – for details please see Events listing | Business Wales - Export ( and it is good to hear that grant funding is available from Welsh Government for VAT Training to assist businesses based in Wales get to grips with these requirements.

Call in on the day to see us or if you have VAT and Exporting concerns before then get in touch at

Centurion – here for when VAT gets complicated.




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