Value Added Tax

Single or multiple supplies ― overview

Produced by Tolley
  • 09 Feb 2022 21:22

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

  • Single or multiple supplies ― overview
  • Background
  • Terminology
  • How do you determine whether a single or multiple supply has been made?
  • How do you apportion output tax where multiple supplies are made?
  • Related reading
  • Practical points

Single or multiple supplies ― overview

This guidance note provides an overview of when supplies can be treated as a single composite supply or a multiple supply for VAT purposes, and it should be read in conjunction with the Multiple supplies ― output tax apportionment and Single or multiple supplies ― other considerations guidance notes.

See De Voil Indirect Tax Service V3.105 and V3.106 for more detailed commentary.


The underlying principle of VAT is that each supply of goods and / or services should be regarded as distinct and independent and that each supply is liable to VAT at the applicable VAT rate. For example, where a person goes into a supermarket and buys a number of different items in a single transaction; each item is regarded as a separate supply with its own VAT liability. However, if a supply contains a number of components that are supplied together to form a single supply, then this supply should not be artificially split into separate supplies and should be treated as a single supply liable to VAT at one rate. For example, a person pays for a membership to a slimming club which entitles that person to attend classes in person, use the online services (both standard-rated) and receive a monthly magazine (zero-rated) as part of the subscription cost; in this case, the magazine is treated ancillary to the overall supply of standard-rated membership of the slimming club rather than a separate zero-rated supply.

The decision regarding whether a supply is a single or

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