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Is the UN a business?

B2B or B2C

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I have a client who needs to invoice the UN for some work done, we are trying to establish the VAT requirements for this, and it will depend on whether this is a B2B or B2C supply.  My thoughts are that the UN is not a business as it does not carry on a trade in order to derive income - wondered if anyone had any previous experience of needing to invoice this organisation?

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By qhas
06th May 2021 12:21

Had the same problem. No coherent reply from Enquiries Desk. Was asked to write in. Did so. No reply. Got fed up waiting and went with B2C . Invoice paid. That was six months ago. Still no reply from C&E.

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Replying to qhas:
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By BudgetB
06th May 2021 12:44

The person working on the enquiries desk probably had no idea of the answer either!!

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By tom123
06th May 2021 12:38

I once had to invoice Nato - they had some really weird middle ground thing, for some reason VAT was not applicable, but they had no number either etc.

I think our corporate law team got involved to clarify etc.

(£1m+ of VAT relevant, if I recall)

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Jason Croke
By Jason Croke
06th May 2021 12:39

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-and-the-single-market-notice-725
Section 14 indicates that the United Nations is a special organisation. The customer has to meet certain conditions (ie, for corporate use, not personal use of an employee) and the customer must issue a specific certificate.

Problem is, this Notice is now withdrawn due to Brexit because it refers to special organisations within the EU, of which we were a part of back then, but no longer.

I always held the view that the UN was not a business and so to treat as B2C for goods or services, but with the exception of the special rule, of which I am not sure whether that remains or not.

Logic would state it does still exist, but the UN cannot issue a certificate under Directive 77/388 because that is EU law and I can't see where the UK had adopted that into UK law, I am sure it has but not enough to be 100% sure.

I will ask the question of the VAT Practitioners Group, of which I'm a member and see if anyone can throw light on the subject , until then though, B2C is my vote.

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Replying to Jason Croke:
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By BudgetB
06th May 2021 12:43

Perfect, that's really helpful thank you. Any further input that the VAT Practitioners Group may have is also most appreciated.

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