How to reclaim UK VAT through special scheme foreign businesses

If your company is registered for VAT outside the UK and you buy goods or services in the UK, you may have paid UK VAT. In case you are not obliged to register for VAT in the UK (and are also not established in the UK), you may be able to reclaim UK VAT charged on imports into the UK or purchases of goods and services used in the UK through the special scheme.

There is no maximum amount you can claim but the UK has set minimum claim amounts that can be refunded. Your application should cover any VAT over a period of at least 3 months but not more than the full prescribed year. When your application is for a period covering less than 12 months the total amount of VAT claimed must not be less than £130. In the event that the application covers a period of less than 3 months (if this is all that remains of the prescribed year) the amount of VAT claimed must not be less than £16.

Deadline

You must make any claim no later than 6 months after the end of the ‘prescribed year’ in which you incurred the VAT. The prescribed year is the 12 months from 1 July to 30 June of the following calendar year, so you must make your application no later than 31 December.

Application

You make your application through the form VAT 65A. When you make your first application you must also include a certificate from the official authority in your own country showing that you are registered for business purposes in that country. The certificate must contain:

  • the name, the address and official stamp of the authorizing body
  • your own name and address (see paragraph 3.7.4 if you have a PO Box address)
  • the nature of your business
  • your business registration number

HMRC has indicated that businesses must apply for the certificate and send it to HMRC before the relevant deadline. However where certificates are not received on time because of delays caused by authorities due to or example a global pandemic, a national epidemic, a national emergency, or government shutdown, HMRC will accept late certificates. The certificate must in this case be supplied within a reasonable time after it was issued. You may be required to provide evidence of the delay, and that you requested the certificate within a reasonable time. Please note that businesses must still submit all other documents of the claim by the relevant deadline.

28 Dec 2021 at 12:30 pm
2 min
Published by:
Daniëlle van der Meulen-Idema
Sr. VAT Specialist
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