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UK warns 250k businesses to get Brexit customs & VAT help

  • Nov 5, 2020 | Richard Asquith

The UK’s HMRC has written to 250,000 UK businesses to get help on customs declarations and VAT in preparation for the end of the Brexit transition period.

With less than 70 days to go, HMRC recommends:

1. Appoint a specialist to deal with import and export declarations. This is important regardless of the amount or value of trade your business does with Europe. Most businesses use a third party such as a freight forwarder or fast parcel operator to deal with this, and do not do their customs declarations themselves.

2. Check to see if you will be able to delay your declarations or duty payments.

3. Register for the free-to-use Trader Support Service if you plan on moving goods into Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.

Key VAT issues include

  • Appoint a VAT fiscal representative in the 19 countries that may force this requirement on UK businesses
  • Check you can use Postponed Accounting to avoid paying import VAT
  • Seek extra VAT registrations on B2B and B2C selling to avoid fines or blocked goods
  • Apply for new MOSS registrations on digital services

Explore more content like this in our Brexit hub

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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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: He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2020 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard trained as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.
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