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Level 1


I have a very specific question about import VAT and the new PVA VAT code.  Please bear with me…

We import containers that are paid for in 2 instalments prior to arrival of goods in UK. We typically enter our suppliers (Zero rated for vat) invoice as a bill and it gets paid before arrival of goods. Those net figures get posted to box 7 on our vat return.

Then on arrival of goods into the UK, we find out the final VAT import figure, and we would normally pay our vat through our deferment account, creating an HMRC bill for just the VAT that we have paid. That allowed us to claim it back through box 4 on our quarterly return.


So, post 1st January we start to use PVA codes. When we select the PVA code it will not allow us to create a ‘VAT only’ invoice as it is trying to be clever and also complete box 1 and 7 at the same time. As our previous supplier bills have already populated box 7 we can’t use this restrictive code in QBO. Also, we can’t add the VAT at the time of entering the supplier bill as at that stage we don’t know the exact VAT figure which tends to have a ‘VAT value adjustment’ element on container imports. It is not a straight 20% of commercial invoice and the vat isn't paid to the supplier anyway! It's to HMRC.


There must be other people importing containers and have the same issue?


What’s the workaround with the PVA codes in QBO which I am understood to believe are mandatory?


Thanks for getting this far and reading that!



Thanks for joining our forum and sharing your concern with us, @SteveYPF,


I want to make sure this issue is taken care of. To properly account the VAT code, I recommend getting in touch again with our Support Team.


Our Live Support can check on the import set up and help you further with reporting the VAT correctly. To get in touch with our representatives, please follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the (?) Help menu to open the QB Assistant box.
  2. On the page, enter Contact Support.
  3. Pick Live Chat to connect with our live representative.
  4. Once done, click the Live Chat link provided in the pop-up box.
  5. On the next page, enter HMRC then Let's Talk.
  6. Lastly, select Start a chat.

In the meantime, here's an article to help you with the PVA Codes: Brexit FAQ


Visit us again for any updates after contacting our support. You can also tag me if you need further assistance with QuickBooks. I'll be more than happy to help you anytime. Have a good day!

Level 1


Its all a nightmare tbh.

I have the same issue but generated differently and I was expecting to just put a 100 % VAT bill on the PVA code. The bill for goods is already entered and like you it doesnt really correspond with the HMRC statement.

Did you get anywhere?


Level 1


Hi Tia


Sorry only just seen this. I never got anywhere with QB support and the PVA codes within Qbooks do not work for what we are trying to to. I found that the workaround is as follows...

Create two new expense accounts in the chart of accounts with detail type 'Taxes paid'. I call one of them Vat Paid on Imports (PVA) and the other Vat Reclaimed on Imports (PVA). Then just manually adjust box 1 and box 4 when preparing the return and enter the total amount of PVA for the period to each box adjustment and choose the relevant expense account (Paid for box 1 and reclaimed for box 4). Obviously box 7 (Purchases) is already correct as you will have entered (And probably paid) the invoice (With no vat) previously. So the above is an acceptable solution.  

Hope this helps and isn't too late for you. 


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