When Do I Pay and Reclaim VAT?

Author: Rochelle - Operations Manager

Published: 13 Dec 2019

Last Updated: 14 Apr 2022


We look at the VAT implications for customers who reside outside the EU and VAT registered entities.

Is there VAT on Bullion?

Unfortunately, the only bullion items exempt from VAT, (as of January 1st 2000), is investment gold. All other items, including silver bullion (bars and coins) and medallions of all metals are subject to VAT within the UK at the current rate, whether new or second hand. You can read more about the second hand scheme here.

The unfortunate scenario of purchasing taxable items is that when you come to sell as a private individual you will lose the VAT you have paid. Therefore, in order to break even you would hope the price you are offered is 20% higher than what you paid for it. 

Metalor 1kg Silver Bars

VAT Statuses on Our Website

You may notice that different products may have different VAT statuses displayed. 

VAT Exempt

All investment gold will come under this VAT status. There will be no VAT to pay. This was introduced on January 1st 2000. 

Taxable at the Current Rate

All new products which are not investment gold will show as taxable on our website. A price will be displayed excluding tax and including tax. The final price for all these products will include tax. ALL UK and EU citizens must pay the tax inclusive price. 

Special Scheme inc VAT

All of our second hand (secondary market) items (apart from second hand gold) are sold under the special margin scheme. This means all of our prices are inclusive for VAT. All special scheme items can not be sold excluded VAT or zero rated if you reside outside of the UK / EU and therefore can not be reclaimed at a later date. 

Zero Rated

Books and bookazines will be sold with VAT at 0% for all of our customers. All taxable items will also be sold as zero rated to our customers who live outside the UK/EU. The website will automatically show this if you have an account with us and your address is registered as a non UK / EU address. You can read more about ordering from us if you live outside the EU, here.

Do I Pay VAT if I Reside Outside the EU?

If you reside outside the EU and we are delivering direct to your home address, VAT will be charged a 0% on any vatable goods purchased from us. This will be re-calculated at checkout or if you have an account with us, VAT will only be displayed at 0% on taxable items throughout the website. 

What Happens if I Order In-Store?

If you reside outside of the EU but are purchasing in our showroom, VAT will be charged at the current rate set by EU/UK. However you may be eligible to claim this back under the Retail Export Scheme, providing you can supply proof of residency outside the EU and proof of departure, when you purchase the goods from us. The goods you have purchased must leave the UK by the end of the third month after purchase. For example, if you purchased on 16th December 2019, the silver must leave the country by 31st March 2020. Unfortunately, you may not send someone on your behalf to collect the items for you.

Upon the correct documentation, we will provide you with a VAT 407 form. This form must be stamped by a member of border control before you depart the UK or EU. They may ask to see the goods before the form is stamped. The stamped form must be returned to us in order for you to receive a refund on your VAT. We do not charge for this service nor do we use a 3rd party to execute the refund, however, we will only refund upon receiving the stamped form. We will not take receipt of any other evidence that you exported the goods within the required timeframe. 

What Products Use the Retail Export Scheme?

The retail export scheme will be used for silver coins and bars, commemorative coins and jewellery, as long as they are are not sold under the special margin scheme. Most of our platinum and palladium products are bought from the secondary market and will therefore not be included in this scheme. However, any bullion which is over 2.75* troy ounces (10 Tolas) can not be sold under the Retail Export Scheme. Unfortunately, we do not offer the scheme for services such as insurance valuations and on-site storage charges. 

Do I Pay VAT as a UK/EU Resident?

As a UK or EU citizen you will be subject to VAT unless you can provide evidence that you reside in a country outside the UK/EU and will be leaving with the goods within the 3 months timeframe. 

Do I pay VAT if I am VAT Registered?

You may wish to buy on behalf of a VAT registered company (we will need your VAT registration number and identification) and provide you with a VAT receipt. If you come to sell your silver as a VAT registered business, you are able to invoice us to purchase your silver, adding the 20% VAT onto the invoice. 

Retail Export Scheme (VAT Notice 704)

HMRC states in their notice that the following is exempt from the Retail Export Scheme;

"bullion (over 125 grammes, 2.75 troy ounces or 10 Tolas)."

However, like most HMRC notices, it is open to interpretation. For example, 10 Tolas is the equivalent to 3.75 troy ounces, (is the above a typo?) and 116.7 grams. 125 grams is the equiavalent to just over 4 troy ounces. If you bought 150 grams of 0.500 fineness of silver (2.41 troy ounces), would this be exempt or not?

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