The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:
This guidance note looks at the special place of supply rules that apply to broadcasting, telecommunication and electronic (BTE) services.
For an overview of VAT and international services more broadly, see the International services ― overview guidance note.
In-depth commentary on the legislation and case law that applies to BTE services can be found in De Voil Indirect Tax Service V3.193B.
BTE services consist of:
and electronic services
The meaning of these terms is described below.
Broadcasting services include transmission by audio and video signals, regardless of the means used (eg landline, line of sight or satellite link). An example of a broadcasting service is when a customer takes out a subscription for satellite or cable television. However, it should be noted that the service of transmitting another person’s material by electronic means is not a broadcasting service.
HMRC has suggested that both of the following fall within this category of services:
the supply of audio and audio-visual content for simultaneous listening or viewing by the general public on the basis of a programme schedule by a person that has editorial responsibility
live streaming via the internet if broadcasted at the same time as transmission via radio or television
VAT rules for supplies of digital services to consumers
Telecommunication services are defined in VAT law as services relating to the transmission, emission or reception of signals, writing, images and sounds or information of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic systems, including:
the related transfer or assignment of the right to use capacity for such transmission, emission or reception
the provision of access to global information networks
VATA 1994, Sch 4A, para 9E
The following are typical examples of telecommunication services (this list is not exhaustive):
telephone calls, calls delivered by cellular phones, paging, the transmission element of Electronic Data Interchange, teleconferencing and call-back services
switching, completion of another provider’s calls, the provision of leased lines and circuits or global
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