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Importing from China and VAT


I have a client who has imported products for re-sale twice from China. In December they had to pay the import duty of around £300 plus the VAT before the goods were released and I’ve accounted for that.

In January all the had to pay via the same freight forwarders was the import duty of £300 but not the VAT amount.

Anyone with experience of how I account for the VAT on the next VAT return ? I assume it’s a reverse charge but what are the mechanics of the purchase invoices ?


If they’re using the new postponed VAT accounting for imports then that’s an option under the additional VAT settings at the bottom of the purchase edit page. You add the appropriate UK VAT rate to the purchase and tick the postponed accounting option, and it’ll declare the VAT as both sales and purchases on the return, similar to how the reverse charge would work if they were buying services, or the acquisitions mechanism used to work for purchases from the EU until the end of last year.

Thank you Ian, much appreciated.

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