V3.182 Place of supply of services—place of establishment/belonging
This paragraph covers the place of establishment/belonging for VAT purposes.
For an overview of the place of supply of services rules more broadly, see V3.181.
The place of supply, under both the general rule and the exceptions thereto (see V3.181), is usually (albeit not always) based on the place where the supplier/customer 'belongs'. A clear understanding of this concept is therefore frequently essential to establish the correct place of supply.
Place of establishment/belonging—UK legislation
The rules establishing where a person 'belongs' for VAT purposes (specifically in relation to the place of supply of services rules1) depend on whether that person is a 'relevant business person' (see V3.182A for the meaning of a relevant business person) or a person who is not a relevant business person. The relevant provisions are found in VATA 1994, s 9.
A 'relevant business person' 'belongs' in the 'relevant country'2, ie3:
• if the person has a business establishment, or some other fixed establishment, in a country (and none in any other country), that country
• if the person has a business establishment, or some other fixed establishment or establishments, in more than one country, the country in which the relevant establishment (ie the establishment most directly concerned with the supply)
• otherwise, the country in which the person's usual place of residence or (with effect from 1 January 20154) permanent address is
A person who is not a relevant business person 'belongs' in the country of their usual place of residence. With
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