Customs Duty VAT invoice

I have a Customs Duty/VAT invoice from DHL for samples imported at a £0 value, not for resale. Under ‘charge type’ is says Duty 0.00, VAT £43.93, with VAT code Z. Then Disbursements, £11. Under analysis of VAT, it gives Duty-VAT: Total taxable £53.93 with 0 VAT. So is it VAT, or not VAT? I need to file it and understand through reading other queries that I can manually adjust the VAT input, but it’s unclear what the actual charge is for! Any input appreciated. I can’t ask DHL direct as it was booked through an import agent, and they can’t help as DHL won’t speak with them due to Privacy rules.

Seems rather a perculiar Customs/Duty invoice, but the main thing that you want to acheive is to recover the VAT that you paid. I have not been registered with HMRC-VAT since 2003/4 so my experience is rusty, but there must be a way of recording this DHL invoice so that you recover your out of pocket expenses. Sorry that I cannot provide you with a definitive answer to your question.

You can raise a Purchase Receipt for this transaction consisting of 2 lines.

Line 1 use nominal code 5010 (VAT on Imports) with 0.00 goods and £43.93 VAT (20%)

Line 2 use Nominal Code 5101 (Import Duty) for £11.00 Goods and No VAT.

This is how I process regular imports from China and my Accountant is happy with it.

Hope this helps.

The slight wrinkle with this is that QuickFile doesn’t let you directly make a line for zero net and lots of VAT, you need one line with the net on which that VAT is calculated (£219.65) at 20% and another line at minus that value with no VAT.

The £11 is not duty, it’s the fee that DHL charge for them to pay the import charges to customs on your behalf.

I beg to differ with regard to the zero net point. I do this all the time (see attached example). The VAT is posted to the VAT account and is reclaimed in my next return.

If it is a DHL fee then I would process it as carriage seeing as how it is part of that fee.

DSV.pdf (64.7 KB)

Oh, ok, I’m sure it didn’t used to allow that for me but to be fair it’s been 12 months or more since I last had to do a vat-only purchase so it may be an update since then.

Thanks so much. I’ll try this. Confusion is that DHL say it is VAT, then say it isn’t, now saying it’s VAT on an amount that wasn’t even the correct declaration so are ‘looking into it’. Good plan re processing the £11 element as carriage, assuming that is then 0 rated. But as for the £43.93 which they say is VAT on approx £660 declared… mystery. Anyway, I’ve downloaded your PDF example and hope I can make sense of DHL’s enquiry! Your help very much appreciated

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What are the goods? Are they a mixture of items that are different VAT rates in the UK (e.g. a variety of biscuits, some coated in chocolate and some not, or a mixture of adult and children’s clothes)?

Goods are all the same: prototype motorcycle legs, made for us in Taiwan, clearly marked Samples only, Not for Resale, (for destruction testing) which is why the declared value was a nominal #10.

If this is something that may happen regularly in the future, you may want to look up HMRC’s C79 certificate and read a bit about this. Officially you may only recover import VAT if you hold official (HMRC approved) evidence (which is form C79) on top of the documents you received from your shipping company.

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