This week, Philip Hammond, UK chancellor of the exchequer announced the 2017 UK Autumn budget. Below is a summary of the VAT outcomes of this:
-The VAT registration for established businesses, currently set at £85,000 per annum will be frozen for 2 years from April 2018. Consultations will continue with regard to potentially lowering this amount at a future date.
-Following Brexit, the UK authorities will consider implementing a full import VAT deferral system which would mean that import VAT would be declared and recovered simultaneously through the UK VAT return. This process is already implemented in a number of EU countries.
-Subject to conditions, UK VAT refunds will now be available to combined services (i.e. fire service).
-In a continued effort to reduce online fraud, HMRC's powers will be extended to hold online platforms jointly and severally liable for the unpaid VAT of sellers on the platform where non-compliance was, or should have been known. This will now apply to UK businesses as well as non-UK businesses to stop overseas businesses creating UK companies to commit fraud. In addition, platforms must ensure that VAT numbers displayed by traders are valid.
-A split payment system is also being considered whereby platforms would retain the VAT amount of a transaction for remittance to HMRC. Further information on this matter is expected in December 2017.