Overview of the VAT impacts of Brexit

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It is therefore important to review the VAT treatment of cross-border transactions with the UK. Below you will find a brief summary of the main changes in this regard.

1) Supply of goods

Note that Northern Ireland is still considered part of the EU for supplies of goods, meaning that all movement of goods between Northern Ireland and Member States are to be considered as intra-Community transactions subject to EU VAT rules.


As from 1 January 2021, any supply of goods transported from Luxembourg to the UK qualifies as an export of goods, instead of an intra-Community supply of goods (“ICS”). From an invoicing perspective, this qualification does not entail adverse VAT consequences, as both ICS and exports are VAT-exempt in Luxembourg. Naturally, however, Luxembourg companies should anticipate new customs formalities. On the compliance side, export transactions need no longer be included on an EC Sales List (“ESL”), and should be reported in a different box on the Luxembourg supplier’s VAT return: box 014 of the annual VAT return form instead of box 013. Finally, note that the application conditions for securing VAT-exempt status differ substantially between ICS and exports, especially in light of the implementation of Quick Fixes.

For the reverse route, i.e. for acquisitions by Luxembourg companies of goods transported from the UK to Luxembourg, this type of transaction now qualifies as an import of goods instead of an intra-Community acquisition of goods (“ICA”). In practice, this new qualification does not automatically have particular VAT consequences, as both types of transaction are subject to VAT in Luxembourg. On the compliance side, such imports are to be reported in a different box on the Luxembourg VAT return: box 065 of the annual VAT return form instead of box 051.

In the case of supplies of goods without transport, sales are subject to VAT in the place where the goods are located at the time of the supply, i.e. outside the EU if located in the UK (and thus clearly subject to UK VAT).


For B2C transactions, the distance sales regime no longer applies, and any supply with transport made by a Luxembourg company to a UK private individual is to be treated as an export from a Luxembourg perspective. Prior to Brexit, Luxembourg companies selling goods to UK private individuals for a total annual amount below the UK threshold (GBP 70,000.00) could directly apply Luxembourg VAT to the relevant invoices. As from January 2021, however, Luxembourg companies must treat sales toward UK private individuals as VAT-exempt exports of goods, and should anticipate customs formalities.

For the reverse route, supplies of goods by UK companies to Luxembourg private individuals qualify as taxable imports in Luxembourg. Prior to Brexit, UK companies selling goods to Luxembourg private individuals for a total annual amount below the Luxembourg threshold (EUR 100,000.00) could directly apply UK VAT to the relevant invoices. As from January 2021, however, UK companies must treat sales toward Luxembourg private individuals as VAT-exempt exports of goods (which will be considered VAT-taxable imports of goods in Luxembourg).

2) Supply of services


The general B2B “place of supply” rule remains unchanged; i.e. services are taxed in the recipient’s place of establishment. Accordingly, a Luxembourg law firm supplying legal services to a UK company would still issue its invoices without Luxembourg VAT, under the reverse charge mechanism. However, it is no longer necessary to include to the foreign VAT number of the UK company or to report the transaction on an ESL.

For the purposes of tax declaration, such services are to be reported by Luxembourg companies in box 019 of the VAT return (instead, pre-Brexit, of box 423 in the case of taxable services, and box 424 in the case of VAT-exempt services).

Although the reverse charge mechanism remains unchanged in this respect, the input VAT recovery right linked to certain services supplied by Luxembourg companies to UK companies could be positively impacted. As from January 2021, Luxembourg companies are now entitled to deduct input VAT for financial and insurance services provided to UK companies. As a consequence, the VAT status of Luxembourg holding companies that grant loans to UK borrowers has changed: instead of the simplified VAT regime, the regular VAT regime must now be used if the new right of VAT deduction is to be exercised (even partially). Similarly, Luxembourg companies that are merely involved in a UK financing activity and that were not required to register (i.e. because there was no receipt of taxable costs from foreign suppliers) are now required to register under the regular regime for VAT purposes due to their entitlement to the VAT deduction right. Particular attention should therefore be paid to the VAT compliance obligations of Luxembourg companies providing financial and insurance services to UK recipients.


In case of B2C supplies of services, the place of taxation is the supplier’s place of establishment, with the exception of cases in which the B2C recipient is located outside the EU and the supply concerns advertising, IT, consultancy, banking, financial or insurance transactions (among others). Previously for such transactions (pre-Brexit), Luxembourg suppliers had to apply Luxembourg VAT for the relevant invoices to UK non-taxable persons. Now, VAT no longer applies as from January 2021.

VAT refund

UK taxable persons can incur Luxembourg VAT on some types of expense, such as representation costs. As from January 2021, UK taxable persons are required to use the VAT refund procedure under the 13th VAT Directive. On the reverse route, if a Luxembourg taxable person were to incur UK VAT, it would have to contact the UK VAT authorities in order to determine the VAT refund process, if any. Note that UK VAT incurred on transactions carried out in 2020 can still be subject to a VAT refund request through the Luxembourg VAT refund portal until 31 March 2021.

Below you will find a table summarising the main Luxembourg VAT impacts arising from Brexit.

VAT impacts of Brexit

Nature of the supplyStatus of the partiesFlowLux VAT treatmentReporting on the annual VAT return formReporting on the ESLCustoms formalities
Supply of goods with transportB2BLux to UKICS – VAT exemptExport – VAT exemptBox 013Box 014YesNoNoYes
UK to LuxICA – subject to Lux VATImport – subject to Lux VATBoxes 051/056Boxes 065/407NoNoNoYes
B2CLux to UKSubject to Lux VAT (if below the distance sale threshold)Export – VAT exemptBoxes 037/046 (if below the distance sale threshold)Box 014NoNoNoYes
UK to LuxSubject to UK VAT (if below the distance sale threshold)Import – subject to Lux VATN/AN/AN/AN/ANoYes
Supply of taxable servicesB2BLux to UKSubject to UK VATSubject to UK VATBox 423Box 019YesNoNoNo
UK to LuxSubject to Lux VATSubject to Lux VATBoxes 436/462Boxes 463/464NoNoNoNo
B2CLux to UKSubject to Lux VATSubject to Lux VAT (except in certain situations with no Lux VAT)Boxes 037/046Boxes 037/046 (except in certain situations requiring Box 019)NoNoNoNo
UK to LuxSubject to UK VATSubject to UK VAT (except specific UK exemptions)N/AN/AN/AN/ANoNo

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