VAT and Customs Brexit review service

Following the General Election and subsequent passage of the Withdrawal Agreement through the Houses of Parliament, the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. There is a transitional period in place until 31 December 2020 after which the current laws on VAT and Customs as they apply to trading with EU customers and suppliers will change along with other existing EU rules and regulations.

With the COVID-19 crisis still ongoing this does not allow for a lot of time to prepare as leaving the EU will involve significant changes to the way UK businesses trade with EU suppliers and customers. Some businesses have already undertaken such assessments to maintain a competitive advantage: if you have not acted yet, we recommend you do so now.

We offer reviews of your business to analyse the impact of Brexit on your operations. Our indirect taxation specialists will discuss your business with you to provide advice on your preparations.


Our review will look at YOUR business and focus on your current dealings with suppliers and customers in the EU and your supply chains.

We will outline what changes need to be made to your procedures and processes and whether these changes will result in any additional costs to you.

We will look at the implications of your staff travelling to the EU for conferences, trade fairs or meetings (including Northern Ireland).


We will provide training to your finance staff in basic Customs declarations and provide guidance on the wider commercial impact of trading with third countries.

Our training will outline the general changes that trading with EU will bring for goods and services and then focus on the specific changes as they relate to your business.


From our analysis and discussions with key personnel, we can make recommendations which might alleviate cash flow or cost burdens for the business and assist in decision making to protect particular markets.

Our aim is to work with the business during this process to ensure that Brexit does not disrupt the business’ plans for the present and for the future.

International options

Chiene + Tait is part of an international network of firms, AGN International, which has offices in most major cities and countries of the world.

Some businesses may have to consider setting up a branch or hold stocks of goods in other EU countries depending on their circumstances. If this is the case, Chiene + Tait is well place to be able to deal with this through our international network of colleagues.

The UK Government has announced that it will make grant funding available to businesses who need to take advice. We can provide assistance in obtaining this funding as part of our overall service to you.

Find out more about the grant in Scotland here.

Update 13/07/20

The UK Government is pressing ahead of its post Brexit planning with the release of a Border Operating Model following engagement with industry. The 206 page document is designed to give guidance to industries on how border issues will work after the transition period ends on 31 December and the actions that traders, hauliers, ports and carriers need to take.

On December 31st 2020 the transition period with the EU will end, and the UK will operate a full, external customs border with the EU and the rest of the world. This means that controls will be placed on the movement of goods between Great Britain (GB) and the EU for the first time.

The Government has broken this down into 3 phases up until 1 July 2021 to assist businesses in planning and preparation.

The key messages which we urge businesses to focus on as 31 December approaches are as follows:

  • Get a customs intermediary. Intermediaries can help traders find the information needed to complete formalities and submit the required declarations, for example customs information to HMRC systems. This simplifies the declaration processes for traders. If you decide not to use an intermediary, you will need to make declarations yourself.
  • Apply for a duty deferment account. Traders who import goods regularly, may benefit from having a duty deferment account. This enables customs charges including customs duty, excise duty, and import VAT to be paid once a month through Direct Debit instead of being paid on individual consignments.
  • Prepare to pay or account for VAT on imported goods.
  • Ensure you have International Driving Permits if you have vehicles travelling outside the UK.
  • Apply for a GB Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. This is required for all businesses moving goods into or out of the UK.

The link to the document is contained here –

We will continue to produce guidance to assist businesses with Brexit planning and are available for consultations on what action needs to be taken by businesses.

For further information and advice please contact Iain Masterton in our VAT team.

Update 22/05/20

The Government has announced details of the UK’s new post Brexit Customs Duty tariff regime. The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) will replace the EU’s Common External Tariff on 1 January 2021 at the end of the Brexit transition period.  Previously, the UK Government produced a “no deal” UK tariff which exempted around 85% of goods from the tariff regime.  The new tariff is more detailed and claims to be more simple and streamlined that the current EU tariff for businesses to navigate.

We will be publishing further information on this, however the detail of the Government’s announcement can be seen here.

Llanelli Railway Goods Shed Trust

“I am very happy to endorse Chiene + Tait. We have received invaluable advice from them regarding VAT issues. They have been very thorough and efficient throughout and have acted on our behalf in dealing with HMRC. They identified major savings on the VAT on the capital cost which has enabled our project to move forward.”

Neil Sutherland, MD, Makar

“We were introduced to Chiene & Tait in relation to an R&D tax credit application to HMRC and to say were were delighted with the outcome is an understatement. The specialist service provided made all the difference for a very successful claim and subsequent financial payout. Since this initial experience we have not hesitated in working with Chiene & Tait in subsequent years with continued success. I would reconvened their services to any progressive organisations engaged in R&D activities.”

Martin Nadin, Chief Executive, Scottish Veterans Residences

“They are well-informed about the charity and third sector. Their performance has been seamless, runs on rails, and their size allows them to provide us with a personalised service.”

Chris Wright, Founder, deltaDNA

“We have especially liked Chiene + Tait’s approach: they have always taken a long-term view, working with us to make sure we correctly allocate R&D and show to HMRC the reason each project is valuable research. This has allowed us to successfully secure the tax credits with the minimum of fuss and the confidence each year to invest. I cannot rate Chiene + Tate highly enough. Having worked with other firms during the years on R&D Tax Credits, Chiene + Tait are by far the most professional, easiest to work with and ultimately the best at maximising the value back to the company.”

Tabatha McCree-Cox, Tarbraxus Distillers

“Chiene + Tait offered that expertise which is really important. They have a very friendly team. For example, Kerry on the VAT side has been really good, very detailed: she sets out the information very clearly along with what needs to be done. They are so much better than the previous firm we used.”

Richard Cooper, CEO, Novosound

“Novosound chose to engage with Chiene + Tait for specific tax advice prior to commencing its spin out. We chose C+T due to their deep knowledge of tax treatment with respect to share issues at company formation. This knowledge was exceedingly useful before and during the spin out process. The firm was easy to deal with and when a particular issue arose at the 11th hour, they dropped everything and developed a practical solution that suited all parties. All together C+T are a great firm to work with.”

Bruce Weir, Director, CW Properties

“Chiene + Tait have been excellent to deal with over the last ten years, with clear robust advice on all aspects of our company work. They really do think through solutions to provide best advice at all times.”

Gillian Brown

“They are efficient and I’ve found the people to be easy to work with. They are very transparent in their approach, and always very quick and professional in their responses. I do regard them as a trusted adviser.”

Karen Stark, Head of Finance, Care Visions Group

“Chiene + Tait have provided Care Visions with a professional service from the start: the set-up and parallel runs gave me so much confidence in the decision to outsource. The team at Chiene + Tait are always professional, extremely helpful and reliable.”

Enable Scotland

“As an organisation, we have had a hugely positive experience working with Chiene + Tait. The firm is easy to work with, flexible and promotes a real sense of confidence in their work and advice.”

Barry McCorkell, Director, Aubrey Capital Management

“I had no hesitation in asking for advice from the Chiene + Tait team when HMRC selected us for an Employer Compliance Review. Having longstanding trusted advisers at our side made it a lot easier and a lot less stressful! HMRC’s recommendations were quick to be addressed and adopted so the review, which could have been a challenging and unnerving experience, was instead professional and efficient. I would have no hesitation in recommending the C+T team to anyone in the future.”

Neil Wilkie, COO, Mironid

“We have been delighted to work with Chiene + Tait on our R&D tax credit claim over the past few years. The guidance and professionalism of the C+T team has resulted in a smooth submission process with a concomitant successful outcome. I’d highly recommend their services.”

Keith Thompson, Head of HR, Hampden & Co

“Chiene + Tait are responsive and helpful, and I thoroughly enjoy working with them. They are clear about up-front costs, and I find they provide a good service and value for money.”

Meet the team

Latest Events

We hold regular events for our clients and issue regular communications to highlight important developments and new legislation for charities and their governance.

Upcoming Events