HMRC issue Certificates of Status for VAT refunds by e-mail
A UK VAT registered business that has paid VAT in another country and wants to claim a VAT refund from the tax authority in that country, may have to provide them with proof of their UK trading status. HMRC issue a certificate of status of taxable person (CoS) for these purposes.
HMRC has changed the way they issue a CoS to UK businesses.
Reason for the change
Following the exit of the UK from the EU, UK businesses now reclaim any VAT incurred in the EU under the 13th Directive refund procedure, and they may be required to submit a CoS with their refund applications.
HMRC previously issued a CoS to UK businesses or their agents by post. In the past, few requests for CoS were received because it was not required when UK businesses submitted claims under the electronic EU cross-border VAT refund scheme. However, with the majority of UK businesses now reclaiming VAT in the EU under the 13th Directive, there is expected to be a significant increase in the volume of requests. However, only a small number of EU Member States require a physical, original, CoS.
In view of this and in order to process requests more efficiently, HMRC have changed the way they issue the CoS to UK businesses. The CoS is now issued by email by default (subject to having the business’s permission to correspond electronically), and a paper copy will only be issued on request. Where HMRC are aware that a country requires a wet stamped certificate, these will continue to be issued by post regardless of whether consent has been granted to correspond by e-mail.
It is hoped this change will prevent any processing or postal delays and should enable UK businesses to submit their applications for refunds by the required deadlines.
For further information on how to apply for a CoS see the latest HMRC guidance available here.