If you’re a VAT-registered business in the UK that supplies goods and certain services to a VAT-registered customer in another European Union (EU) country, you’ll have to tell HMRC about these supplies. To do this you need to complete an EC Sales List (form VAT101). You will need to show details of each of your customers in the EU and the value (in sterling) of the supplies you’ve made to them in the period. If you haven’t made any supplies (or issued any credit notes) you don’t need to submit an ESL.
As you may be aware HMRC have introduced a penalty regime for the late filing of EC Sales Lists. These can rise to as much as £1,500 for each late return filed. For this reason, it is very important to be aware of when you are required to file an EC Sales list and when the filing deadline is.
Unless your relevant supplies are in excess of £70,000 in the current or four previous quarters you will have to file an EC Sales List for each calendar quarter ending 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December. If your relevant supplies are in excess of £70,000, or if you choose to, you will have to file an EC Sales List on a monthly basis.
The filing deadline for paper returns is 14 days after the period end. This extends to 21 days after the period end for electronic returns.
If you have entered a figure into Box 8 of your VAT return then HMRC will automatically send you an EC Sales List to complete. Ordinarily, this would give you enough time to complete and file the return but if the VAT return on which you have included relevant supplies ends on the same date as the quarterly EC Sales List then you could already be late filing your EC Sales list before your VAT return has even been filed.
For this reason, we would recommend that if you have made relevant supplies in your VAT period that you either register on the HMRC website to file electronic EC Sales Lists or print out a copy of the VAT 101 from the HMRC website and ensure it is completed and returned to HMRC by the filing deadline.
Here to help
We understand that this may add additional administrative stresses to your business in ensuring that the correct return is filed for the correct period by the filing deadline, especially with the new penalty regime in place. Therefore, if you require any assistance in any aspect of the EC Sales list then we can offer a full service for the processing and filing of the return. Contact our Business Services department for further information.
November 30th, 2011