UK VAT refunds – potential Brexit cut-off for foreign traders?

Currently, UK VAT refund claims can be lodged by EU based foreign traders/businesses through the EVR (Electronic VAT refunds) through their local EU Member State tax administrations. In Ireland, this is done using the Revenue Commissioners ROS portal.

Based on administrative protocol and if the UK will exit the European Union without transitional arrangements being agreed or in place, businesses and the HMRC will not have access to the EVR platform.

It’s not certain whether the UK Government through the HMRC will adopt a foreign trader VAT refund regime. Even if such a scheme is to be adopted, there are likely to be long delays in obtaining refunds.

The reality of VAT at the point of entry will arise as the current intra-community free movement of goods cannot continue post-exit from the EU on 31st October 2019.  

Given this ambiguity, it’s recommended that business who trade into the UK and do not have UK business establishment/UK VAT registration address this immediately to avoid unnecessary UK VAT costs.

Should a business be incurring UK VAT costs, it would beneficial to seek immediate assistance with quantifying potential UK VAT reclaims and identify what can be processed efficiently through the EVR platform for cashflow reasons.

Mazars believe that any valid VAT refund reclaims lodged through the EVR platform before the 31st October exit date will have to be processed by the HMRC under existing protocols, but there is no guarantee beyond this date.

For more information please contact:

Alan McManus
Director, VAT Advisory Services 
+353 (0)1 512 5525




The exact consequences for future policy and regulation remain unknown. It will take time to fully understand the implications of the vote, and it is important to note that Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty provides for two years, from the date the UK Government gives notice to the Council of Europe, to negotiate and agree exit terms.

Brexit Checklist

Mazars Brexit Checklist

While the final settlement between the UK and the European Union is still to be negotiated, there are steps that businesses can take now. The Mazars Brexit Checklist helps entrepreneurial businesses consider the implications for their company in Ireland and what practical steps they should take to prepare for every eventuality.

Download pdf 42.97 kB



Can you afford to avoid the risk? Ineffective VAT management can represent a major cost risk and compliance burden for business. If done correctly it offers very significant opportunities for cash-flow and bottom-line savings.