Frequently Asked Questions
We ship goods from the UK to customers based in different EU countries. Do I have to charge UK or VAT of the country? Can our sales be VAT zero rated? VAT rules are so complicated…
You are right. European VAT regulations are not easy to understand nor to apply. The correct VAT treatment will actually differ whether your clients are VAT registered businesses or private consumers.
Your sales may be VAT zero rated if your clients are registered for VAT in the countries of destination but the conditions for VAT exemption are very strict. We of couse are available to discuss this with you.
Can I recover the VAT charged by my suppliers?
VAT is supposed to be neutral for businesses. The VAT charged by your clients is then more than probably refundable. We can have a look at these invoices and confirm it very quickly.
How can I recover VAT paid on goods that I imported?
If your company is based in the UK, then import VAT is refundable from the HMRC. We can assist you with this if necessary.
What are the returns that need to be filed in each country?
If your company sells goods locally in some EU countries (for example from a local warehouse), you may have to submit local VAT returns as well as possible other specific forms (other local taxes, levies on certain kinds of goods, WEEE, …). It is then very important to identify these countries and analyze your flows of goods to answer your question.
Do I have to file Intrastat returns?
Intrastat returns have to be filed if your company ships goods from and within the European Union and if local thresholds are exceeded. These thresholds are different in all EU countries. Do you need assistance for this?
How to be sure that my invoices are compliant with local rules?
The only thing to do is to refer to these local rules. Some countries impose very specific mentions on invoices. Just tell us in what countries your company has business transactions and we will tell you about the right mentions.
Which VAT rate to apply?
If your transactions are subject to local VAT, then it is important to apply the right VAT rate in order to avoid penalties. For some categories of goods, reduced or super reduced rates can apply. These goods are mainly food, beverages, energy, … It is of course very important to be sure that your goods may benefit from reduced VAT rates.
Can I have a stock in Europe?
Of course your company can have a stock in Europe. Please however note that storing goods in EU Member States implies to espect local VAT regulations and possibly a local VAT registration.
Can I appoint a fiscal representative or a tax agent?
You can appoint a tax agent in the countries where your company has business transactions. Please however make sure that the service provider you choose has the necessary knowledge and experience in cross border VAT. Always ask for receive written answers to your questions and check his financial statements.