Charging VAT on services

What is a service for VAT?

For Value-Added Tax (VAT) purposes, a service is any commercial activity other than a supply of goods.

Typical services include:

  • refraining from doing something (toleration of a situation)
  • the granting and surrendering of a right
  • the services of caterers, mechanics, plumbers, accountants, solicitors, consultants
  • the hiring (other than hire-purchase) or leasing of goods
  • electronically supplied services, including digitised goods delivered online and the physical supply of customised software are supplies of services for VAT purposes
  • the handing back (after processing) of movable goods, made up from materials supplied by a customer, is treated as a supply of services not a supply of goods.

Next: General place of supply rules for services

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