V16.858 Supplies through undisclosed agents—revised VAT treatment
VAT Information Sheet 3/00, August 2000
This information sheet supplements the details provided in Business Brief 9/00 (BB/9A/00, Division V16.3) of the revised VAT treatment of supplies through undisclosed agents. It provides answers to a range of questions likely to arise from businesses.
1 Why are Customs introducing this revised treatment?
As Business Brief 9/00 indicates, the changes are intended to ease problems faced by UK undisclosed agents which are caused by differences between UK common law on agency and Roman law civil concepts. These are summarised in the business brief. They aim to put the VAT treatment of UK undisclosed agents on the same footing as that for commissionaires elsewhere in the Community. Among other things, the changes will relieve non-EC principals of the need to register for UK VAT in order to recover input tax on their agents' charges, and will simplify the position for those UK agents having to manage VAT registrations for a number of overseas clients. The changes follow representations from the trade and their advisers, and have been agreed after consultation with members of the Joint VAT Consultative Committee and the VAT Practitioners Group.
2 What is an undisclosed agent?
Undisclosed agents are those who take part in a supply of goods or services while acting in their own name, but on behalf of a