Produced by Tolley

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

  • Self-billing
  • What is self-billing?
  • Considerations
  • Self-billing agreements
  • Reviewing agreements
  • VAT invoice requirements
  • Third party providers
  • Mistakes
  • Tax points
  • Supplier considerations
  • More...

This guidance note provides an overview of the rules relating to self-billing arrangements.

What is self-billing?

Under a self-billing arrangement it is the customer, rather than the supplier, who is responsible for raising the sales invoice for the supply made.

A customer can issue a self-billed invoice if the following conditions are met:

  1. the supplier has agreed to accept self-billed invoices

  2. the customer and supplier have a self-billing agreement in place

  3. the customer using self-billing must meet these conditions:

    1. he must raise self-billed invoices for all transactions with that supplier for at least 12 months or for the duration of the contract

    2. the self-billing document must show the supplier's name, address and VAT registration number together with all of the other VAT invoice requirements - see the Tax invoice requirements guidance note for more information

    3. a new agreement must be created if the supplier's business transfers its business as a going concern to an new owner or the supplier changes its VAT registration number

    4. a list containing the name, address and VAT registration number of the suppliers who have agreed to use self-billing must be maintained

    5. self-billed VAT invoices must not be issued on behalf of suppliers who are not currently VAT registered

Self-billing is the most suitable invoicing arrangement in situations where it is easier for the customer to determine the value of a supply and / or the tax point date of the goods / services supplied.

It should be noted that if the value stated on a previous self-billed invoice needs to be amended, the customer should issue a debit note to the supplier and the debit note must meet the normal invoicing requirements. See the Credits and debits guidance note.

If the self billed invoice understates the amount of VAT due on the transaction, HMRC can serve a notice on both parties electing that the amount of understated VAT is due from the recipient and not the supplier under VATA 1994, s 29.


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