What is postponed accounting?

Postponed accounting allows UK VAT registered businesses to account for import VAT on goods worth more than £135 when they submit their VAT return, rather than paying the import VAT at the border.

Only VAT registered businesses can use postponed accounting, but it is optional, and you can still choose to pay at the border instead if you prefer.

When did postponed VAT accounting start?

Postponed accounting for import VAT began 1st January 2021.

Do I need to apply for postponed accounting?

You do not need to get special permission to use the postponed accounting method for import VAT, as long as:

  • The business is registered for VAT.

  • You only use it for goods that you import to use in your business.

  • The customs declaration shows your VAT registration number, and your EORI number.

How do I submit a VAT return which includes postponed VAT with Pandle?

You will run your VAT return in Pandle and 'Save & Lock’ it as normal. Then select the option to mark your VAT return as ‘Submitted’.

Your VAT return will then need to be submitted through bridging software, with the relevant adjustments added to boxes 1, 4, and 7. The adjustment figures will be shown on your import VAT statement.

Import VAT statements are available by signing into the Government Gateway account linked to your EORI number. They are only saved for six months, so make sure that you download them regularly.

The adjustments do not affect the VAT liability.

Box 1

Use this box to show the VAT which is due on imports for this period that you chose to postpone, rather than paying at the border. You only need to complete Box 1 if you postponed import VAT.

Box 4

Provide the amount of VAT you are reclaiming through postponed accounting on imports in this period.

Box 7

This is the total value of all imports on your online monthly statement, excluding any VAT.

What if there are imports missing from my downloaded postponed accounting report?

The imports won’t show on your postponed accounting reports if you deferred the customs declarations. You must still need to include them on your VAT return, and will need to estimate the import VAT for this VAT return, and then correct it on your next one.

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