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Published:April 13, 2021

What to do if you can’t access UK import VAT statements

UK authorities have noted a problem with accessing monthly VAT statements

What to do if you can’t access UK import VAT statements

Some importers that use postponed VAT accounting may be affected. HMRC confirms there will be no penalties for companies that take reasonable care to follow the guidance on completing returns.

What is Postponed VAT accounting

Companies that import into the UK, and are registered for UK VAT, can take advantage if postponed VAT accounting. The mechanism offers a cash flow advantage by enabling importers to account for import VAT on their next VAT return. By contrast, if postponed VAT accounting is not employed, importers must pay import VAT at the point of entry.

Importers require their VAT statements to file an accurate return. 


What is the issue with VAT statements?

HMRC notes that some importers have had difficulty accessing their monthly VAT statements. Some statements from January and February 2021 also seem to contain inaccuracies.


What should you do now?

The guidance states that if you are unable to access your VAT statements, you should make as accurate an estimate as possible based on the amount you paid for the goods and other expenses, such as packaging transport and insurance.

The guidance also notes that once you do get access to your VAT statements, you will be required to make an adjustment on the next return to reflect any difference from your estimate.

The guidance states that there will be no penalty if you make an erroneous estimate so long as “reasonable care” has been taken to follow the guidance. However, importers may wish to speak to a VAT expert to get full clarity on their obligations and liabilities. 

If you have problems with your monthly statements but are able to access them, you will need to review your statements


Independent expert advice

Get in touch with a VAT IT consultant for expert assistance with all your VAT, customs and import logistics requirements. 



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