Transport outside EU, Not VATABLE, VATABLE, NOT VATABLE... make up your mind!

Steve Knowles
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 Image this.  You book a lorry to transport some goods for you from the UK to Greece.  The driver plans a route across Europe to Italy, through  the countries to the east of the Adriatic Sea and into Greece.  

Before  January 1 the supply was in the country where the activity physically took place, to the extent that it took place there.  That meant that supplies physically performed outside the EU were outside the scope of VAT.  No VAT.  

Since January 1 you would be liable to calculate VAT on this service on the whole journey, even though some of this service was provided outside the EU.  This is because the rule became that the service was provided where the customer was based.  So now you had to self supply, i.e. charge yourself and claim it back.  This means you may pay VAT on services provided outside the EU.

Now from March 15 if the transport is outside the EU, no VAT is due.

The change on 15th March was to correct an unintended cost to business.     How is business intended to keep up with these changes, why can’t the people who make these regulations live in the real world of running a business...  and what happens if the driver has a girlfriend in southern Italy and gets the ferry from Italy to Greece without telling you!  Now the journey is wholly in the EU and you don't even know!


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