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Purchases of services from abroad

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The following information is for general guidance only and should not be taken as definitive VAT advice, since individual circumstances may vary. To determine the VAT treatment for your particular transactions please refer to HMRC guidance or seek tax advice from an accountant.

Introduction

If you purchase a service from an overseas supplier, you need to determine where the place of supply is (using HMRC VAT Notice 741a) to know whether or not it is outside the scope of UK VAT, regardless of where the supplier is located.

If the place of supply is determined to be the UK, reverse charge VAT is normally due. This means output VAT has to be accounted for and paid to HMRC by you - the customer - rather than the supplier, hence the term reverse charge. To enter this type of purchase, please refer to:

Reverse charge services from abroad

Reverse charge services from abroad (if on cash accounting)

If the place of supply is outside the UK, it is outside the scope of VAT. To enter this type of purchase, please refer to:

Services from abroad outside scope of VAT

Note that for supplies of services, Great Britain and Northern Ireland are both considered to be within the UK for VAT purposes and follow the same rules.