Commentary

V6.359 Liability of supplies and activities of solicitors

Part V6 Business by business

V6.359 Liability of supplies and activities of solicitors

Solicitors

V6.359 Liability of supplies and activities of solicitors

The VAT treatment of services provided by solicitors may at first seem relatively simple. It is easy to assume that the services are taxable and that all VAT incurred on expenses can be fully recovered. However, this is not necessarily the case. This paragraph looks at the nature and variety of services provided by solicitors (some of which may be exempt) and the corresponding VAT treatment. The impact on the solicitor's ability to recover VAT incurred on expenses as well as some further practical points of note to the profession is considered at V6.360.

Core activities—solicitors

Solicitors can deal with many types of legal matters, including litigation, conveyancing, executory and trust work and general advice. The profession is governed by the Law Society in England and Wales and the Council of the Law Society of Scotland. Generally speaking, most legal services provided by solicitors in the UK are taxable at the standard rate. This will be the case for litigation, executory, trust and corporate work and general advice. However, there can still be significant complexity surrounding some supplies and activities of solicitors from a VAT perspective, a number of which are addressed below.

Place of supply—solicitors

Establishing the place of supply is crucial to determine whether or not UK VAT is chargeable on the solicitor's services. This is particularly the case for certain services supplied to persons outside the UK and some services relating to land.

Legal services

Normally legal services will follow

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