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With only three weeks until the proposed Brexit date, HMRC has set a 31 January deadline for online claims for EU VAT refunds via their website.

The current government position is that the UK will leave the European Union on 31 January 2020 and this will have an impact on EU VAT refund claims (formerly known as 8th Directive Claims). The latest guidance published on the HMRC website on 18 September 2019 advises that it will not be possible to use HMRC’s VAT online services to claim a VAT refund from an EU member state after 5pm on 31 January 2020.

The guidance, which is titled “Claim VAT refunds from EU countries after Brexit”, goes on to advise that after Brexit refund claims will need to be made using the existing processes used by businesses based outside the EU, even where the claim is for expenses incurred before Brexit.

The deadline is therefore not the final deadline by which a claim for which EU VAT incurred in 2019 must be made, but it is the deadline for such a claim to be made via the HMRC Online Portal. The deadline is tight, but If it is possible to do so, the process for claiming via the HMRC Portal is likely to be simpler.

For further information, please contact Ann Bibby on abibby@ellacotts.co.uk or 01295 250401.