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EU Sales of Goods

I have just picked up an order for a customer based in Germany. Do I need to do anything differently with the VAT invoice I issue them?  

There are a number of differences, such as:

  • You must show the VAT and net values (for each rate of VAT) of the invoice in sterling; even if you are also showing the native currency as well
  • You must ask the customer if they are registered for VAT in their country, and if they are, obtain their VAT number
  • If they are VAT registered, then you may zero-rate the sale; i.e. the VAT rate you show on the invoice is 0%, provided that:
    • The goods are sent outside of the UK to another EU country
    • You can prove the goods have been sent outside of the UK to another EU country with supporting documents
    • You have dispatched the goods (and have evidence of this) within a specified time frame- which is normally three months
  • If they are not VAT registered, then raise the invoice as if it were to any normal UK-based customer

Please note, the above list is merely a brief summary and is not exhaustive. Dealing with foreign sales and purchases can be a complex area and I would encourage you to seek the advice of your local TaxAssist Accountant.

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