UK Import VAT Duty Deferment

Imagine you’ve just discovered an ancient map, leading you to a hidden treasure chest filled with gold, rubies, and pearls – sounds thrilling, right? Now take that sense of excitement and apply it to the world of UK import VAT duty deferment.

It might not be a literal treasure map, but understanding the ins and outs of this complex system could certainly lead you to significant financial benefits. It’s like unlocking a secret passage to improved cash flow and better business operation.

But, it’s not as simple as turning a key; there are rules to follow, paths to navigate, and potential pitfalls to avoid. Intrigued? Good.

Let’s embark on this journey together to uncover the wealth that understanding UK Import VAT Duty Deferment can bring to your business.

Key Takeaways

  • Importers can defer the payment of import VAT until the 15th of the month following the month of import.
  • The Deferment Account helps importers manage their cash flow by delaying the cash payment of import VAT.
  • Importers must provide a minimum guarantee from an approved bank, building society, or insurance company for deferment of import VAT and duties.
  • The SIVA (Simplified Import VAT Accounting) scheme eliminates the need for a guarantee under the Deferment Account, but new importers are not eligible and at least three years of clean VAT compliance history is required for eligibility.


Understanding the details of the Deferment Account is crucial for handling your UK Import VAT Duty responsibilities effectively.

It’s not just about deferring your payments, but also managing your cash flow and meeting compliance requirements.

Let’s take an analytical look at the key details of the Deferment Account and share some practical advice for utilizing it to your advantage.

Key Deferment Account Details

Diving into the key details of the Deferment Account, it’s essential to note that this tool provides a significant advantage by allowing importers to delay the payment of most duties and import VAT, effectively improving their cash flow management.

  • The duty deferment account lets you defer duty payments when completing customs declarations.
  • Exceeding the account limit can lead to suspension.
  • Payment breaches may cause delays in goods clearance.
  • Payment can be made via BACS or Direct Debit in pounds sterling.
  • Extra authorization is needed for amounts over £20 million.

Advice for Deferment Account

After grasping the key details of the Deferment Account, you might be seeking advice on how to best utilize this tool for your business.

To fully exploit its benefits, use your duty deferment account for import VAT. This allows you to defer paying import duties, hence improving cash flow. Ensure you have your deferment account number and approval number to hand when paying duties.

Consider the Simplified Import VAT system for further ease.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Deferred Import VAT Work?

Deferred import VAT allows you to delay payment of duties and VAT. It’s a cash flow advantage, but there’s risk of account suspension if you exceed your limit or encounter compliance issues.

Can I Import Without a Deferment Account?

Yes, you can import without a deferment account, but you’ll need to pay import VAT and duties upfront. A deferment account just helps manage cash flow by delaying these payments. It’s not mandatory.

What Happens if You Don’t Pay Import Tax Uk?

If you don’t pay your import tax in the UK, you may face account suspension, clearance delays, possible interest charges on late payments, and even joint liability for customs debt if you’re an agent.

What Is Deferred Payment of Import Duty?

Deferred payment of import duty lets you delay paying most duties and import VAT when finalizing your declaration. It’s a handy tool for managing cash flow, but requires a guarantee from an approved institution.


In conclusion, understanding UK Import VAT Duty Deferment can significantly boost your cash flow by delaying VAT payments. While it may seem complex, with a Deferment Account or through SIVA, it’s manageable.

Yes, there’s a learning curve and compliance requirements to meet, but with the right knowledge and expert guidance, like that from Avalara, you can navigate these waters confidently.

Truly, mastering these aspects of UK VAT compliance can be a game-changer for your import business.

Barry Caldwell

Barry Caldwell

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