EU Council Adopts Rules on Introduction of Special VAT Number for Businesses in Northern Ireland

Russell Hughes
December 11, 2020

The EU Council have now adopted the rules in relation to the introduction of a special VAT identification number that is to be provided to businesses in Northern Ireland at the end of the transitional period on 31 December 2020.

The new VAT number will be the same numerical digits as their exiting UK VAT number but instead of GB will have the prefix XI.

As part of the Withdrawal Agreement, supplies of goods between the EU and Northern Ireland will continue to be subject to EU VAT rules. Therefore, the new number will be used to differentiate between businesses in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Businesses in Northern Ireland will also be issued a new XI Electronic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number to use. HMRC have already started to write to those businesses who they think may require this.

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Russell Hughes

At Sovos, Russell works within the Consulting team providing UK and cross-border supply advice, detailed reviews on existing and new business activities and practical solutions to clients’ businesses. Prior to joining Sovos, Russell was the VAT manager of an award-winning tax team based in a firm of Chartered Accountants in the South East of England. Having initially begun his career in audit and accounts, he specialized in VAT in 2011, where he gained significant experience in cross-border issues, imports and exports, land and property, group registrations, partial exemption, HMRC enquiries and other complex VAT transactions. From June 2015, Russell was the sole VAT specialist in his previous company, where he led the firm’s VAT compliance and consultancy projects including all day-to-day VAT queries. Russell is also a member of the VAT Practitioners Group (VPG).
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