It applies to services being supplied both to and from the UK. If you make supplies of arranging or facilitating a supply of services, see VAT Notice A: place of supply of services. But, in many cases, these items do not qualify to be treated as disbursements for VAT purposes. For more information see the VAT: costs or disbursements passed to customers guide.
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If these costs have been incurred by suppliers in the course of making their own supply to their clients, then they must be included in the value of those supplies when VAT is calculated. But, if you merely pay amounts to third parties as the agent of your client and debit your client with the precise amounts paid out, then you may be able to treat them as disbursements for VAT purposes, and exclude these amounts when you calculate any VAT due on your main supply to your client. You may treat a payment to a third party as a disbursement for VAT purposes if all the following conditions are met:.
All these conditions must be satisfied before you can treat a payment as a disbursement for VAT purposes. If you treat a payment for a standard-rated supply as a disbursement for VAT purposes, you may not reclaim input tax on the supply because it has not been made to you.
Your client may also be prevented from doing so because the client does not hold a valid VAT invoice. If you treat a payment as a disbursement for VAT purposes then you must keep evidence such as an order form or a copy invoice , to allow you to show that you were entitled to exclude the payment from the value of your own supply to your principal. You must also be able to show that you did not reclaim input tax on the supply by the third party. The following are examples of supplies which might, for accounting purposes, be charged or itemised separately, but which cannot be treated as disbursements for VAT purposes:.
The service for which the charge is made is supplied by the bank to the solicitor rather than to the client. A solicitor pays a fee for a personal search of official records such as a Land Registry, in order to extract information needed to advise a client.
The solicitor cannot treat the search fee as a disbursement for VAT purposes. The fee is charged for the supply of access to the official record and it is the solicitor, rather than the client, who receives that supply.
click here The solicitor must account for output tax on the full value of the supply. Where a solicitor pays a fee for a postal search, this may be treated as a disbursement since the solicitor merely obtains a document on behalf of the client. The client will normally need to use the document for their own purposes, such as to obtain a loan. The consultant cannot treat the air fare as a disbursement for VAT purposes. The supply by the airline is a supply to the consultant, not to the client.
The consultant must account for output tax on the full value of this supply. A private function is held at a restaurant. The customer pays for the food, drink and other facilities provided, and also agree to meet the costs of any overtime payments to the staff. The restaurant cannot treat the overtime payments as disbursements for VAT purposes.
The supply by the staff is made to the restaurant, not to the customer. The staff costs are part of the value of the supply by the restaurant and VAT is due on the full amount. A manufacturer makes a separate charge to a customer for royalty or licence fees, which were incurred in making a supply to the customer. The manufacturer cannot treat the royalty or licence fees as disbursements for VAT purposes.
The manufacturer must account for output tax on the full value of the supply, including the royalty or licence fees. The arrangements in this paragraph apply if auctioneers offer goods for sale as an agent for the seller. As an auctioneer, if you issue an invoice for the goods in your own name, then the goods are treated as supplied to you by the vendor and from you to the buyer. The normal place of supply and liability rules apply to the supplies you make as an auctioneer.
If you act only as a selling agent then your services are normally standard-rated if the place of supply is the UK.
But, if you make a separate charge for providing or arranging services such as packing and exporting the goods to a country outside the EU, then those services may be zero-rated under VAT Act , Schedule 8, Group 7, item 2 a. As an auctioneer, you may also be asked to arrange sales of goods in the satisfaction of a debt for example, under a court order. If the debtor is a registered person and the goods are part of the business assets, you must account for VAT using the procedure set out in paragraph But, you must meet the conditions set out in VAT Notice export of goods from the UK , which require you to obtain and hold valid proof of export as described in that notice.
If you obtain a fiche or hard copy of data from a source such as Companies House, the item you obtain should be regarded as a piece of information rather than a tangible object. When you recharge the search fee to your customer, you may treat it as a disbursement and outside the scope of VAT, provided you pass on the information without analysis or comment, and all the conditions outlined in paragraph This paragraph deals with the arrangements debt collectors enter into for the legal recovery of debts.
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The amounts you pay to solicitors for Court fees may be treated as disbursements made on behalf of the creditor, which are outside the scope of VAT. Any amount you recover from debtors for such fees, and retain, may then be regarded as reimbursement of the amounts disbursed and outside the scope of VAT. Where solicitors charge you VAT for their services, there are only 2 options open to you, you may choose:. You must account for output tax on all such amounts in the normal way. This treatment will not apply if you have received an assignment of debts.
An equitable or legal assignment of the debts to you, whether in whole or in part, is an exempt supply of services to you, and the collection by you of such debts is outside the scope of VAT. You may render yourself liable to a civil penalty if you fail to notify any of these changes within the prescribed time limit. In certain situations you have to cancel your registration. These can include selling or closing your business, or when you stop making taxable supplies. You may be liable to a civil penalty if you fail to notify any of the changes within the prescribed time limit.
Some of the changes require written confirmation, but some may be made via the VAT online service - see Changes to your VAT registration details. If you do not apply to include an additional member in the VAT group at the correct time, HMRC will only allow a period of retrospection in very exceptional circumstances. It is not possible to re-allocate a previously held VAT registration number to a group registration or a VAT group registration number to a former group member on disbanding the group. A corporate body organised in divisions may be registered for VAT as such.
The corporate body must sign an approval letter before becoming so registered. If you do not meet the terms of that approval at any time, you must inform the VAT Registration Service. The Service has the authority to cancel the divisional registration and restrict the corporate body to a single registration. A change of circumstances may mean that transfer between these registers is appropriate. If you had a place of business or an agent in both countries at the time you were registered, you must give notification of any major change in the functions carried out at either address.
If a taxable person dies, or becomes bankrupt or incapacitated or a company goes into liquidation or receivership , and the business run by that person is then carried on by a personal representative, HMRC will allow that personal representative to be treated as the same taxable person. This will apply until such time as another person is registered in respect of the taxable supplies concerned, or, in the case of incapacity, the person concerned is able to continue with their business.
The person who carries on the business is responsible for complying with all the normal VAT obligations of a taxable person.
The personal representative carrying on such a business must notify the VAT Registration Service within 21 days of starting to do so, giving details of the date of the death, or the nature of the incapacity and the date that it began, as appropriate. If the personal representative requires any further advice they should contact the VAT Registration Service.
If 2 or more partners remain, and they intend to continue in business, they should notify the VAT Registration Service accordingly and HMRC will amend their details in its records. If you have a case specific VAT enquiry concerning an insolvent case, for example whether a pre-insolvency return has been rendered or whether set-off will apply in a particular circumstance, please quote the VAT registration number and contact the appropriate insolvency team.
For more information see paragraph 1. If you transfer your business as a going concern you need to know the correct VAT treatment. This includes selling your business as a going concern to a third party. If your taxable supplies or acquisitions have exceeded the VAT registration threshold but are wholly or mainly zero-rated you can apply to be exempted from registration. This scheme is an alternative to VAT registration for anyone involved in certain designated agricultural activities.
One of these, default surcharge, is covered in paragraph Other measures include:.