Accountants reveal how to keep VAT simple at home and abroad

VAT can at times be a complex area to navigate, particularly with regard to EU import and export policy changes in today’s uncertain political climate.

Leicestershire accountants Newby Castleman explains how UK businesses can ensure they have the basics of VAT and EU trading under control.    

In a “no deal” Brexit scenario, UK businesses that are VAT registered and currently import or export goods to or from the EU would be responsible for making customs declarations for any UK-EU trade. These businesses are being urged by HMRC to take action now to ensure they are prepared in the event of a potential “no deal” Brexit.

First and foremost, businesses will require an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number for customs declaration when trading goods between the UK and the EU. It is advisable to register for this number now via the following URL:

Appointing a customs agent to manage the declarations process is also a way for businesses to keep things as free from complications as possible. Alternatively, businesses may wish to invest in software that connects to HMRC’s customs systems, as well as register for the National Export System if necessary and ensure that at least one member of their staff is trained to make customs declarations.

Brent Goodwin, VAT Manager at Newby Castleman, says:

“Regardless of potential future changes to customs declaration processes between the UK and the EU, it’s good housekeeping for businesses to prepare as best they can in the meantime.

“We recommend that all VAT-registered businesses who trade within the EU check that they have an EORI number, and register for one as soon as possible if not. Ensuring that this fundamental step is taken will make the overall process of importing and exporting goods to and from the EU more straightforward.”

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. For further information, telephone the Leicester branch on 0116 254 9262, the Loughborough branch on 01509 263500 or visit the website at 

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