UK EC Sales Lists (ESL)

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. As part of its Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, it will remain inside the EU VAT regime until 31 December 2020. During this time, there will be no changes to UK VAT rules, treatment of transactions or filings. Read Avalara’s free 2020 Brexit guide for details on Brexit VAT and customs issues.

If a UK VAT registered business, resident or non-resident, is selling goods or services to other VAT registered companies in Europe, then an EC Sales List (ESL) return may be required.  These may also be known as recapitulative statements.  This is in addition to the regular UK VAT return or UK Intrastat.


When do UK EU Sales List reports have to be completed?

If a UK VAT registered business completes an intra-community supply, a sale to another EU VAT registered business of goods or services across the UK border, then this may have to be reported in the ESL.  There is no reporting threshold.

When should UK ESLs be filed?

ESLs are filed in UK on a monthly basis for goods once sales go over GBP35,000 in the current quarter or the previous four quarters. Businesses may submit quarterly ESLs if their sales are below GBP 35,000 in the current or previous four quarters. Approval may be sought from HRMC to submit an annual ESL if annual taxable turnover is below GBP145,000. In addition businesses with an annual turnover of below GBP104,500 may, with the permission of HMRC, submit a simplified annual ESL.

In the UK, ESLs can be submitted electronically through the HMRC website or on paper using Form VAT 101. UK online ESL filings are due 21 days from the end of the reporting period. Paper ESL submissions must be filed 14 days from the end of the reporting period.

There may be minor penalties for late or incorrect UK ESL filings.


Need help with your UK VAT compliance?



Researching UK VAT legislation is the first step to understanding your VAT compliance needs. Avalara has a range of solutions that can help your business depending on where and how you trade. 

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