How do overseas transactions work for VAT?

In general, for a VAT-registered business in the UK:

  • sales of goods and supplies of services overseas are zero-rated
  • purchases of goods from outside the UK, assume output VAT is paid on import, enter input VAT on VAT return to be reclaimed. There are some exemptions for charities
  • purchase of services from outside the UK are usually subject to a reverse charge

The rules are very complex though with numerous variations so do follow up and check. Our guide International aspects of VAT made simple is a useful starting point.

Want to discuss further?

Ross Palmer

Senior Tax Manager

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