Import VAT - how to account for it?

Hi all

I'm using SAGE Accounting Cloud Start to keep my records and generate VAT returns. I'm a Sole Trader so most of my accounts are pretty simple.

One thing I'm not sure how to deal with; if anyone can offer advice, I'd be very grateful.

My business is Sound Engineering, and I bought an item of audio equipment from a US supplier who doesn't have a UK distributor (it's a very small startup). The item will be posted to me directly, so I'm not "importing" it via an Import Service etc. Looking at the HMRC guidelines, it suggests that if the item is being sent to me by post, I don't need to do an Import Declaration or have an EORI number.

I know there will be Import VAT applied at the border which I'll have to pay before the item is released to me. How can I enter this in my accounts software so that I can claim it back on a VAT return? Previously when I bought something from the US, I got an invoice from a company called Customs Clearance Ltd which I had to pay for the Duty and VAT, but there was no UK VAT number on the invoice so it wouldn't count as valid for VAT purposes.

Does anyone know how to do this please?

Many thanks


  • Hello,

    Thanks for contacting us on Sage City.

    The issue here is the software you are using wont post this automatically for you as you arent able to post foreign transactions on Start. This is a feature on Accounting Standard and Plus but what you are using isnt designed to post this type of transactions. The only way you could do this is by posting the payment with no vat on it through the bank and then when you come to run the return adjusting the boxes on the return to account for it. Below is a guide on how the return calculates and what amounts make up each box depending on your scheme, this should help it showing you which boxes to adjust. Hope this helps.

    Kind Regard