Brent Goodwin, VAT Manager at Newby Castleman.

Brent Goodwin, VAT Manager at Newby Castleman.

A new law, in force since 1 January 2020, requires UK suppliers to Europe to produce a written statement to accompany the dispatch of goods to the EU. Amidst the post-General Election news and Brexit commentary, these changes may have slipped under the radar for many. Chartered accountants Newby Castleman has outlined the requirements you may not be aware of.

Historically, goods dispatched to the EU have been listed on an EC sales form. HMRC has increasingly flagged instances of dispatches being missed off the list. Whilst the first omission may just incur a warning, it's worth being aware that penalties are increasingly being enforced that have the potential to scupper the supplier’s zero rating.

From the beginning of the year, a requirement has been in place in the form of a written statement that must be produced within 10 days following the month of supply, in cases where the buyer (or recipient) has arranged the transport of the goods.

To be valid, the statement should include certain minimum information regarding the goods, the acquirer of the goods and the means and date of transport.

In addition to the statement, from 1 January 2020, the submission of an accurate EC Sales List incorporating the intra-EU supply in question has also been made a requirement for zero-rating that supply.

Brent Goodwin, Newby Castleman’s VAT Manager, said: “These changes may well have passed under the radar with everything else that has been happening in both the UK and wider world.

"It is important that businesses are aware that if either of the new requirements are not met in relation to an intra-EU supply of goods, then any zero-rating in respect of those supplies becomes invalid and the supplier leaves themselves open to interest and penalties.”

Newby Castleman is one of the Midlands’ leading independent accountancy firms, with offices in Leicester and Loughborough. It offers a range of specialist financial services, business and tax advice for individuals and businesses.

Want to check you're doing everything correctly? Advisors at the free Business Support Helpline can guide you through any questions you have about exporting goods - call 0300 456 3565 or visit the Business Support website

Contributed by Brent Goodwin
Neina Sheldon
Article by Neina Sheldon
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