Services supplied where performed

By Tolley

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

  • Services supplied where performed
  • Introduction
  • Overview of the place of supply rules
  • Valuation and work on moveable goods
  • VAT treatment
  • Services relating to culture, artistic, sporting, scientific, educational, entertainment or similar activities
  • Exhibition organising
  • Ticket agents


Historically the provision of these types of services caused suppliers the most VAT issues within the EU. This is because a number of EU member states require overseas suppliers providing these services to register for VAT in the country where the services were physically performed. Therefore businesses have suffered increased VAT compliance costs and complexities managing various overseas VAT registrations. Each EU member state has differing VAT compliance requirements, and some countries impose very high interest charges and / or penalties for any errors made with regard to the completion and submission of the VAT returns. This has made managing overseas VAT registrations complicated.

The EU became aware that the existing rules were burdensome as they created the requirement for EU businesses to VAT register in other EU member states and that it might be more cost effective for the 'relevant business person' to account for any VAT due rather than making the supplier register for VAT. As a result, the VAT treatment of these types of services has started to be simplified. A number of the services became 'reverse charge' services with effect from 1 January 2010 and further simplification measures were introduced in January 2011. The 'new' simplified VAT rules are explained below.

VATPOSS01350; 2008/08/EC HMRC Notice 741A 
What types of services are included within this category?

The following is the list of the types of services that are included within the 'supplied where performed' category:

  • services involving either the valuation of or work on moveable goods (ie not goods that are treated as land and property) – this would include repairs, maintenance, installation / assembly and manufacturing (where the manufacturer does not own the goods / services)
  • ancillary transport services – see the Supplies

More on Cross border supplies of services: