United KingdomManual

The UK has a standard VAT rate and one reduced VAT rate. In addition, a number of items are zero rated

UK Intrastat returns

Intrastat returns are EU reporting obligations and, as a general rule, they are only required in the EU Member States.

Following the exit of the UK from the European Union, HMRC announced that Intrastat returns will be gradually phased out.

Intrastat returns are no longer due concerning the movement of goods between Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and the EU. Exports will be recorded via HMRC using export declarations submitted by all taxpayers moving their products outside Great Britain. However, Intrastat returns will be due concerning the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and the EU.

Intrastat returns remain due only for the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and the EU countries.

Frequency and due date of NI Intrastat

Like in most EU countries, NI Intrastat returns are filed monthly.

The due date to file these returns is the 21st day of the following month. If this due date falls on a Sunday or public holiday, the date is shifted to the previous working day.

In case a business is submitting VAT returns with a non-standard VAT period, the reference period for their Intrastat return can be either the month when the goods arrived or the month when the tax point occurs.

NI Intrastat thresholds

The following annual Intrastat thresholds apply in NI (calendar year):

  • Type of Intrastat
    Standard Declaration
  • Arrivals
  • Dispatches

These thresholds are computed annually according to the calendar year. Once filed, a calendar year needs to be completed by a business in order to stop filing these returns. For example, if a company exceeds the threshold in March 2022 on arrivals, Intrastat returns for arrivals are due until December 2023. These thresholds are calculated according to the invoice value.

Once a business has exceeded the applicable threshold, they need to submit an Intrastat return. If you need help from HMRC you can send an email to intrastatenquiries@hmrc.gov.uk. 

Specific NI Intrastat scenarios

Very often, the transactions reported in the Intrastat return are standard sales from one taxable person to another. However, a number of less common scenarios have specific reporting requirements.

These scenarios are reported by specific nature of transaction codes. These codes are made up of two digits, the first one providing general information and the second one, if applicable, giving more details about the specific scenario.

HMRC publishes detailed guidelines about your Intrastat return, Section 6. How to complete your Suplementary Declaration provides all possible scenarios for your nature of transaction combinations.

NI nil and corrective Intrastat returns

If no transactions are to be reported, a nil Intrastat return should be filed. HMRC regulations do not foresee this specific requirement; however, it is recommended to submit nil returns in case no transactions have been made in that reporting period.

Also, if you do not expect to have any further transactions to be reported in Intrastat during the calendar year, it is possible to send an email to HMRC (intrastatenquiries@hmrc.gov.uk) who will, as a concession, input nil returns on your behalf. 

Corrective Intrastat returns

Mistakes in your originally submitted Intrastat return need to be corrected using the Intrastat Amendment form.

An amendment form is however not required to update the country from/to, commodity code, value or wrong period if the value of the error on a single line is below £10,000.

More information about corrective Intrastat returns and the applicable form to be used is available in the guidelines published by the authorities about this subject.

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