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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 (as the customer), rather than the supplier, hence the term reverse charge.

To enter a reverse charge purchase of services, 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 a purchase outside the scope of VAT, please refer to:

Services from abroad outside scope of VAT

Note:

For VAT purposes:

The Isle of Man is part of the UK

The Channel Islands are outside the scope of UK VAT

Northern Ireland is part of the UK for purchases of services

Northern Ireland is part of the UK for purchases of goods from all countries except EU countries

Northern Ireland is part of the EU for purchases of goods from EU countries