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UK Brexit Northern Ireland EU VAT identification number

  • Aug 1, 2020 | Richard Asquith

The EU will grant UK Northern Ireland (NI) businesses an EU VAT identification number to enable them to report goods transactions after 31 December 2020. This is the end of the Brexit transition period, when NI adopts dual participation in the UK and EU VAT, Customs Union and Single Market for goods only. 

See details of the Northern Ireland Brexit VAT system. For services, NI will be treated as remaining solely within the UK VAT regime.

EU Northern Ireland identification number

To enable reporting by NI businesses on their transactions with Irish or other EU resident businesses, the European Commission (EC) has proposed introducing a special VAT identification number. This will facilitate NI and EU businesses to properly classify transactions between each other under the EU VAT rules.

Work is ongoing on similar legal changes for excise duties.

Northern Ireland VAT after Brexit

Northern Ireland will adopt a special, dual position within the EU VAT regime after 31 December 2020 as part of the end of the Brexit transition period. The rest of the UK, Great Britain (GB), will leave the EU VAT regime. As part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement’s Northern Ireland Protocol, NI will remain inside the EU VAT, Customs Union and Single Market for goods only. This is to prevent the need for physical border checks at the NI / Ireland border. Goods movements between NI and Ireland (or any other EU member state) will be treated as today – VAT movements within the EU VAT regime. This includes: VAT exemption and deductions for B2B transactions; and subject to local VAT under the distance selling rules for B2B movements.


VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He can be contacted at: richard.asquith@avalara.com. He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2019 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.
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