Place of supply of services ― consultancy, professional and other services

Produced by Tolley
Place of supply of services ― consultancy, professional and other services

The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Place of supply of services ― consultancy, professional and other services
  • What kind of services are considered in this guidance note?
  • Transfers and assignments of copyright, patents, licences, trademarks and similar rights
  • Advertising services
  • Consultants, engineers, lawyers, accountants etc
  • Banking, financial or insurance services
  • Supplies of staff
  • What is the place of supply for these kinds of services?
  • How are registration and VAT accounting requirements affected by supplying consultancy, professional and other services?
  • Practical points ― consultancy, professional and other services

This guidance note looks at the special place of supply rules that apply to a variety of different services that fall broadly under the bracket of consultancy, professional and ‘other’ 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 consultancy, professional and other services can be found in De Voil Indirect Tax Service V3.193.

What kind of services are considered in this guidance note?

This guidance note looks at the place of supply rules that apply to a relatively wide range of services that fall into the following broad categories:

  1. transfers and assignments of copyright, patents etc

  2. advertising services

  3. consultancy and professional services

  4. banking, financial and insurance services

  5. supplies of staff

VATA 1994, Sch 4A, para 16

Transfers and assignments of copyright, patents, licences, trademarks and similar rights

This category includes any transfers and assignments of copyright, patents, licences, trademarks and similar rights. The payment for these kinds of services are often described as ‘royalties’.

HMRC suggests that these are intellectual property rights that are capable of being legally enforced and that services that do not involve intellectual property will not be covered even if they can be described as a right or licence.

The following table summarises HMRC’s views on some common examples of supplies that do and do not fall within this category:

IncludedNot included
Grant of a license to use softwareIndividual shares in goods, for example an animal or yacht, even though certain rights may be included in the supply
Transfer of permission to use a logoA right to obtain reduced rates for admission to conferences and meetings as well as similar discounts on facilities available to members of clubs, associations or societies in return for a subscription
Granting of a right for photographs to be published in a magazine article, including material that is digitally downloaded to the customerThe right to

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