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Determining whether a sale is subject to VAT

27 June 2018 / Neil Warren
Issue: 4653 / Categories: Comment & Analysis

Supply confusion


  • The source of payment is not always relevant when determining VAT liability.
  • Care must be taken when dealing with the place of supply rules.
  • The Redwood Birkhill case illustrates the difficulties that can arise when identifying the nature of a supply of goods or services.
  • Has there been a supply for VAT purposes?
  • If there is doubt about the identity of the supplier customer perception is a key consideration.

There are times when we are faced with a VAT problem and need to ignore where the money is coming from to decide whether a sale is subject to VAT. To give an easy example if a UK business receives an order from Aunty Mary in New York to deliver a computer to her nephew Steve in Newcastle this...

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