As you will undoubtedly know, importers and business owners have really struggled to wrap their heads around the post-Brexit rules regarding importing. One area of confusion has been the implementation of Postponed Import VAT Accounting (PIVA). Whilst this mechanism actually benefits importers greatly, many are unsure of how to use it and how to access their postponed accounting statements. We’ve put together this guide to ensure that you can make the most of the PIVA mechanism. Before we begin, we’d just like to remind you that if you require any support with importing or accounting we can be of service. At J&P, we are experts in supporting sole traders and SMEs, so get in contact today!

What Is Postponed Import VAT Accounting (PIVA)?

Postponed Import VAT Accounting was introduced at the beginning of 2021. The system was created with the intention of making the transition from Brexit easier for importers. To sum it up as succinctly as possible, PIVA basically allows importers to defer the payment of their import VAT that they would normally pay at customs until they have to submit their VAT returns. This means they are then able to ‘pay’ their import VAT and reclaim it at the same time. Thus they don’t actually have to pay the physically pay the VAT.

The government are hoping that the introduction of Postponed Import VAT Accounting will ease the cashflow issues that importers might have faced following Brexit. It would certainly make sense for any business or trader who imports regularly to use to the system.

Do You Need To Apply For Postponed Import VAT Accounting?

You don’t actually need to apply to use PIVA. If you wish to postpone your import VAT, you just have to make sure that you declare it on your VAT return. This option is open to all VAT registered businesses in the UK as long as you provide your EORI number and VAT registration number at customs. The mechanism is optional, so if you want to pay import VAT the normal way (upfront at customs) you can do so.

However, please be aware that the use of postponed VAT accounting is obligatory if you defer any customs declarations. This includes any deferred declarations made during the 6 month customs deferred declarations period following Brexit.

How Do I Get A Postponed Import VAT Statement?

Those who wish to use PIVA should be aware that they will need copies of their monthly postponed VAT statements to complete their VAT returns correctly. You can download your statements by going to the ‘get your postponed import VAT statement’ page on the gov website. You will be required to log in to your Government Gateway account to access the statements, as this log in is linked to your EORI number.

You can also access your statements via the Customs Declaration Service (CDS). If you go to your CDS financial dashboard you should be able to view and download your postponed VAT statements. You can apply for access to the Customs Declaration Service here.

Conclusion

This guide provides an overview of how to postpone your import VAT post-Brexit, but there are many rules that apply to individual products. The best you can do as an importer is make sure all your identification and documentation is in order, as well the documentation of your exporter, and consider appointing experts to help with your VAT and customs.

If you are a business who participates in cross border e-commerce, or importing of any kind, we would be more than happy to help you register for UK VAT, the UK VAT deferral scheme, EU and UK EORI number, file your UK and EU VAT returns, and help you comply with VAT in case your account faces any issues. At J&P, helping your business is our passion, and we understand that companies across the UK are at risk now more than ever. We are here to support you through Brexit, so please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0161 637 1080 or send an e-mail to enquiries@jpaccountant.com.