Single or multiple supplies ― indicators that it is a single or multiple supply

Produced by Tolley

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

  • Single or multiple supplies ― indicators that it is a single or multiple supply
  • Case law precedent on the indicators of single and multiple supplies
  • Card Protection Plan (
  • ) [1999] 2 AC 601
  • Levob Verzekeringen BV (
  • ) [2006] STC 766
  • Is a single or multiple supply being made?
  • What are the indicators that it is a multiple supply?
  • Is there more than one supplier involved?
  • What would the customer consider they are receiving?
  • More...

Single or multiple supplies ― indicators that it is a single or multiple supply

This guidance note covers the indicators that need to be considered when ascertaining whether a single or multiple supply is being made. This guidance note should be read in conjunction with the Single or multiple supplies ― overview and Single or multiple supplies ― other considerations guidance notes.

See De Voil Indirect Tax Service V3.105 - V3.107 for more detailed commentary.

Case law precedent on the indicators of single and multiple supplies

There are two significant CJEU judgments that given significant guidance to both HMRC and businesses when determining whether a supply should be treated as a single or multiple supply for VAT purposes. These cases are summarised below.

However it should be noted that single and multiple supplies are a heavily litigated area of VAT law and there has been a large volume of case law applying the principles of these two cases to a variety of taxpayer situations. For in-depth commentary on the case law history, see De Voil Indirect Tax service V3.105-V3.107.

Card Protection Plan (C-349/96) [1999] 2 AC 601

The key points that arose from the CJEU judgments were:

  1. when considering a transaction that consists of a number of components, regard must be given to all the circumstances in which that transaction takes place

  2. each supply of a service must normally be regarded as distinct and independent

  3. a supply that comprises a single service from an economic point of view should not be artificially split. The essential features of the transaction must be ascertained to decide if the supply to a typical customer comprises several distinct principal services or a single service

  4. there is a single supply in cases where one or components can be regarded as ancillary services. An ancillary service is defined as something that does not constitute for customers an aim in itself but is a means of better enjoying the principal service supplied

  5. the fact that a single price is charged is not decisive.

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