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Reverse charge VAT

UK company, UK place of supply to Irish (EU) customer - should UK VAT be charged, or reverse charge?

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My client is UK based and UK VAT registered. They are an events organiser and are therefore (I think!) subject to the VAT supply rules under VATA 1994 Sch 4A, Part 2, para 9A which says that supplies made to a relevant business person are treated in the country in which the event takes place, rather than basic place of supply rules. They have invoiced a customer who is based in Ireland for exhibition space at an event they are organising which is in the UK. The place of supply is therefore the UK (correct?) They have added 20% VAT to their invoice. The customer is querying it, saying it is subject to a reverse charge i.e. my client should remove the UK VAT and state “this supply is subject to the reverse charge”. I think the customer is getting confused (!) Surely it would be a reverse charge if the place of supply was Ireland?? I would just like clarification that I am correct on all the above before I respond!

Mant thanks for any advice

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By Les Howard
12th Sep 2019 09:42

Para 9A refers to admission to an exhibition, not supplies of exhibition space. It is a fine line, but I think the Place of Supply is where the customer is based, not where the event takes place.

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By WhichTyler
12th Sep 2019 10:07

See 7.4 and 7.5 here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-place-of-supply-of-services-notice-741a#... (as well as the rest of the notice)

It depends on what precisely is being provided

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By WhichTyler
12th Sep 2019 10:07

See 7.4 and 7.5 here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-place-of-supply-of-services-notice-741a#... (as well as the rest of the notice)

It depends on what precisely is being provided

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By The Dullard
12th Sep 2019 10:12

HMRC generally consider a supply of exhibition space to be a land-related service, meaning that the place of supply is where the land is, but see WhichTyler's link which provides a compare and contrast situation in the examples of what is and what isn't a land-related service.

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Replying to The Dullard:
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By Pygmy
12th Sep 2019 10:19

Is the Irish customer's confusion being exacerbated by the possible complexities of their reclaiming UK VAT?

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Replying to Pygmy:
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By The Dullard
12th Sep 2019 10:21

If the place of supply is the UK, then recovering the UK VAT isn't especially complex. I have recovered French TVA from the French authorities in similar circumstances, and they speak a different language.

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Replying to Pygmy:
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By AshleafAccountancy
12th Sep 2019 10:23

Yes I think so! Their explanation for why is was reverse charge was not correct as they argued it was a UK place of supply because the event was in the UK, but then went on to say it was reverse charge.... it would be a reclaim of UK VAT in that situation would it not??

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By AshleafAccountancy
12th Sep 2019 10:17

Thank you both for your advice. I have researched further since last night and discussed with a colleague, and I think you may be right - it is not covered by the exceptions to the basic rule and therefore the place of supply is Ireland. The legislation refers to "admission" and "ancillary services" but doesn't clarify on exhibition space. HMRC's guidance is that exhibitors paying for exhibition space is NOT "admission" and therefore the basic rule of supply would apply. Definitely a fine line, but I think I will go with their guidance this time... place of supply Ireland and therefore reverse charge! Thanks again

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Replying to AshleafAccountancy:
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By WhichTyler
12th Sep 2019 10:32

AshleafAccountancy wrote:

HMRC's guidance is that exhibitors paying for exhibition space is NOT "admission" and therefore the basic rule of supply would apply.

The word 'therefore' in this is not justified. Don't look at what is not being supplied, look at what is. The guidance suggests that 'space only' is land related, 'space plus other services' may not be...

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Replying to WhichTyler:
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By AshleafAccountancy
12th Sep 2019 12:54

Thanks, I hadn't considered the land aspect. In this instance the space is only part of a bigger package being supplied that includes power, advertising space at the event, furnishings etc so it is not directly land related. I believe the basic rule of supply does apply. Thanks again

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By Smalltalk
12th Sep 2019 11:13

Should 'the supply of specific stand space at an exhibition or fair without any related services' then, would that mean it's exempt supply and there is no need to issue an invoice?

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