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Since 01 January 2021 any goods purchased from Great Britain are classified as imports. Therefore, import VAT is due as soon as the goods reach Ireland. This can have a negative effect on cashflow as you need to have the money then and there to pay the VAT and wait for your VAT return to reclaim it.

However, if businesses wish to avoid paying VAT at the point of importation they may apply to Revenue for Postponed Accounting in respect of these imports.

Postponed Accounting arrangements enable a business to self-account for VAT on imports on their VAT return rather than paying as soon as the goods reach Ireland. This means that import VAT, subject to the usual rules on deductibility, may be reclaimed at the same time as it is declared on a VAT return. 

In other words, the import VAT will be recorded as both VAT on a sale and VAT on a purchase in a similar way to the manner in which goods acquired from other EU countries are currently recorded on the VAT return.

This alleviates the burden on cashflow by allowing the business to account for the import VAT in their VAT return rather than paying on the VAT at the point of import and waiting for their next VAT return to reclaim it.

If you are looking for an accountant to help with VAT returns or Postponed Accounting for VAT then contact us to arrange a consultation.


Date published 21 Jan 2021

This article is intended to inform rather than advise and is based on legislation and practice at the time. Taxpayer’s circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this article, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.


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