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UK pauses Brexit advanced VAT registrations

  • Feb 6, 2020 | Richard Asquith

The UK’s HMRC has paused foreign businesses advance UK VAT registering in preparation for the UK leaving the EU VAT regime. This was a measure introduced in 2019 in preparation for a potential no-deal Brexit on 31 December 2019. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, non-resident businesses would have required UK VAT registrations, for example becauces of the loss of the e-commerce distance selling threshold.

The UK is due to leave the EU VAT regime on 31 December 2020. The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 with a Withdrawal Agreement, and is now in an 11-month transition period. During this time, all transactions involving UK and EU trade still comes under the EU VAT Directive for treatment and reporting obligations.

The UK could still leave the EU VAT regime without a no-trade deal agreement at the end of 2020. In anticipation of this, the advance VAT registration process may be reintroduced later this year.


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 is part of the European leadership team which this year won International Tax Review's 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.