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Budget 2020 predictions: VAT

Our experts give their predictions for what the Chancellor might do and suggestions for what he should and shouldn’t do during the Budget announcement on 11 March.

For more information about our coverage on the day and the publications we produce, visit our Budget 2020 topic page.

What we expect to see

  • Announcements on the VAT and Customs regime post the transitional agreement (i.e. from 1 January 2021). These are likely to focus on the impact for a no trade agreement scenario.

What we can say is, regardless of whether there is a trade agreement with the EU or not, the UK Government should introduce VAT postponed accounting for imports. This will ease the movement of international trade in goods (from the EU and non-EU) and put the UK on an equal footing with many other EU countries that operate similar regimes (notable the Netherland that fully utilise this VAT arrangement to attract warehousing and distribution businesses).

  • Guidance or clarity on the VAT liability of e-books

In light of the News Corp (Times) case, HMRC should now clarify the scope and conditions for securing the zero rate (or reduced rate) of VAT for e-books.

For more information, please contact Alan Pearce.

For press enquiries, please get in touch with David Barzilay.