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Level 1

VAT code for purchases of goods from EU

My question is regarding the VAT code to use for purchases of standard rated goods from the EC (we are in GB, not NI).  The Quickbooks guide to VAT codes says that you should use 20% ECG which reports into boxes 2, 4, 7, 9, but our accountant says that these transactions should only appear in boxes 1 and 7 (box 2 is now only for VAT on "acquisitions of goods made in NI from EU Member States".  But there is no VAT code in Quickbooks (that I can find) which reports just to boxes 1 and 7.  

QuickBooks Team

VAT code for purchases of goods from EU

Hi katesarsby

Thanks for posting on the Community.


Box 1 relates to the VAT due in the period on sales and other outputs. We'd recommend referring to HMRC's guide on how to complete your VAT return for further information on each box, as the QuickBooks Online VAT codes are designed in-line with this. For further support, please reach out to your bookkeeper or accountant for advice. 

Level 8

VAT code for purchases of goods from EU

Hi @katesarsby 


You're correct to make the distinction of being in GB rather than NI.

EC VAT Codes should no longer be used for import into GB.  Surely someone at Intuit knows this by now but the EC VAT Codes are still live & the help page continues to refer to them (as well as giving utterly useless & outdated information about Reverse Charge).


Now for an answer to the actual question!

It depends on how you paid the VAT on import.  Since 2021 you have two options - pay on import (either direct to HMRC or via the clearing agent) or Postponed VAT Accounting.  This goes for imports from EU & Rest of World (all are treated in the same way now).


If you paid the VAT at import, you will usually have the VAT shown on an invoice from the clearing agent or on a C79 certificate from HMRC.  Enter the Supplier's Bill into QBO as zero rated (Z=0% or Exempt) & enter the agent's bill with the Import VAT (there are many posts on here showing how to do that).


If you didn't pay any VAT at the import stage, then you need to account for it on the VAT Return.

Use 20.0% PVA Import VAT Code in QBO to do this.

This posts to Boxes 1 & 4 (these cancel each other out so there is no net VAT to pay as you'd expect) and Box 7.


Hope this helps.

Level 1

VAT code for purchases of goods from EU

Thank you so much Paul72.  That was hugely helpful and just the information I was looking for (but couldn't find anywhere else)!

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