Zoho Books (UK edition) in the post-Brexit era

Zoho Books (UK edition) in the post-Brexit era

Dear users,


As you may know already, the transition period for Brexit is ending on 31 December 2020 and Britain is exiting the EU. In this post, we will look into its implications on VAT treatments and the changes in Zoho Books.


VAT Treatments


Pre-Brexit, there were 4 VAT treatments in Zoho Books:

  1. United Kingdom – Businesses or consumers within the UK

  2. EU VAT Registered – Registered businesses within the EU

  3. EU Non-VAT Registered – Businesses or consumers in the EU

  4. Non EU – Businesses or consumers outside the UK and the EU


These VAT treatments were assigned to your customers and the corresponding VAT rates were applied on transactions. However, post-Brexit, there will be two major VAT treatments:

  1. United Kingdom – Businesses or consumers within the UK

  2. Overseas – Any business or consumer outside the UK. Previous VAT treatments such as EU VAT Registered, EU Non-VAT Registered, and Non EU will be grouped under Overseas.


If you’re a business that’s registered for VAT and trades goods between Northern Ireland and the EU, the Northern Ireland protocol will be applicable to your business.


Northern Ireland Protocol (NI Protocol)

The Northern Ireland protocol ensures unfettered access for Northern Ireland businesses to the UK market. So, post-Brexit, VAT registered businesses in Northern Ireland will continue to be a part of the UK’s VAT system. On the trading of goods with the EU, they will follow the existing EU regulations and VAT rules.


This means that the transactions that involve the trading of goods and associated services between Northern Ireland and the EU will not have Overseas as its VAT treatment but EU VAT Registered [NI protocol].


Make a swift transition to the post-Brexit era 

Zoho Books is up-to-date with all these latest changes so that you can continue your accounting without a hitch in the post-Brexit era.


Enable NI Protocol 

If your business is registered for VAT, trades goods between Northern Ireland and the EU, and has International Trade enabled in Zoho Books, you can enable the NI protocol. To enable:

  1. Click the Gear icon at the top right corner and select VAT.

  2. Under the VAT Settings tab, mark the Enable trading of goods between Northern Ireland and the European Union (NI Protocol) option.

  3. Click Save.



NI Protocol will be enabled in Zoho Books and EU VAT Registered [NI protocol] will be listed as a VAT treatment in contacts and transactions.



When you’re creating a new customer or a vendor, post-Brexit VAT treatments will be listed. However, your existing contacts will continue to have the pre-Brexit VAT treatments.


For contacts that have EU VAT Registered, EU Non-VAT Registered, or Non EU as the default VAT treatment, you can edit and update them to Overseas or EU VAT Registered [NI Protocol].



If you want to update the default VAT treatment of many contacts, you can bulk-update them. To bulk update:

  1. Go to Customers or Vendors on the left sidebar.

  2. Select the customers or vendors for whom you want to bulk-update to a particular VAT treatment.

  3. Click Bulk-Update.

  4. Select the VAT Treatment that you want to update for all the selected customers or vendors.

  5. Click Update Fields.



All the selected contacts will be updated with the new VAT treatment.



For all the transactions that you create from 1 January 2021, the post-Brexit VAT treatments will be applied automatically based on the existing pre-Brexit VAT treatments for that customer or vendor.


However, Zoho Books will contextually suggest you to update the default VAT treatment when you create transactions for customers or vendors with pre-Brexit VAT treatments.



If you had created the post-dated transactions or recurring profiles (that is transactions for on or after 1 January 2021) with the pre-Brexit VAT treatments, they will be listed in the dashboard as transactions that have to be updated with the post-Brexit VAT treatments.  You can click Update and update the VAT treatment immediately.



Brexit Updates

You can find the latest updates about Brexit and how it will affect the sales and purchase transactions, and the VAT return from the Brexit Updates tab in the Dashboard.



Updates to API

If you use an API to create contacts or record transactions, you will have to update the VAT treatment details to the new VAT treatments.


Post-Brexit, trading outside the UK will follow the same rules irrespective of whether the customer is a EU consumer or EU business or is outside the EU. The transactions you create for the EU customers will follow the same procedure as the transactions you created for customers outside the EU in the pre-Brexit period. So, for all transactions outside the UK (including EU), you will have to specify the VAT Treatment as non_eu or overseas. You can refer to the table below and update the VAT treatment accordingly. 


Trading Type

VAT treatment in pre-Brexit period

VAT treatment in post-Brexit period

Trading with EU businesses


non_eu or overseas

Trading with EU consumers


non_eu or overseas

Trading between Northern Ireland and EU businesses


eu_vat_registered (NI protocol must be enabled in VAT settings)

As the post-Brexit era dawns, we hope and wish you a smooth sailing ahead and prosperous years of growth for your business.


If you need any clarification about the Brexit changes, feel free to leave a comment. We are here to assist you.



Alen J. Abraham

The Zoho Books Team

      Zoho Marketing Automation
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