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VAT and British Virgin Islands

VAT on services supplied in England to be invoiced to British Virgin Islands

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Hi,

we are environmental consultants and have been asked to do an ecological survey on land in England.  The Uk Company we were instructed by is now asking us to invoice another company in the British (well I think the British as there is also American Virgin Islands) Virgin Islands.

Do I charge the Company in Virgin Islands VAT on our services.

I've spent a few hours reading the internet for clues, but not sure I have found the correct answers. Most of what I have read says that as we are making the supply (the survey as I read it) in the UK then I should charge UK VAT.

Has anyone had a similar situation or can help

 

thanks

Andi

Replies (12)

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By WhichTyler
11th Sep 2019 15:53

Chapter and verse is here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-place-of-supply-of-services-notice-741a#...

Please discuss with your accountant if you are not clear about this as they will be better placed to advise you...

Thanks (1)
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By Justin Bryant
11th Sep 2019 15:55

Even if the rule that services re UK land are supplied in the UK does not apply, cases like that in the link below show the supply will be in the UK:

http://financeandtax.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk/judgmentfiles/j11303/TC0...

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
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By The Dullard
11th Sep 2019 15:59

Utter rubbish. By default, supplies to a business customer are made where the customer belongs, irrespective of where the work is undertaken. This though would appear to be a land-related service and thus take place where the land is.

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Replying to The Dullard:
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By Justin Bryant
25th Sep 2019 18:13

Eh? I said more or less above that the normal UK land rule should apply regardless (I am not going to spend time checking exceptions to exceptions etc., so added the above case that puts it beyond doubt in any event as a UK supply to the UK company)! Thus, you are the one talking total cr ap (and you are aptly named!).

[Edit] I note the above case was cited in TJ as confirming who a supply is made to. See:

https://www.taxjournal.com/articles/american-express-services-europe-v-hmrc

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Replying to Justin Bryant:
Psycho
By Wilson Philips
11th Sep 2019 19:39

Staggering - that someone would even attempt to impute the particular facts of that case into the circumstances, of which we have been given scant information, of the instant query - let alone making the quite absurd statement that it puts the matter beyond doubt.

And in absence of further information I certainly wouldn’t be concluding that the services are land-related.

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By IceQueen
12th Sep 2019 09:53

So we're charging them VAT I take it because it is land,
even though the billing client is now in the Virgin Islands
Thanks

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Replying to IceQueen:
Psycho
By Wilson Philips
12th Sep 2019 09:54

You've said that "it is land". But "ecological survey" covers a wide variety of activities - what is the precise nature of the survey(s)?

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Replying to Wilson Philips:
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By IceQueen
13th Sep 2019 11:18

Hi,
I've found one of the proposals. This one says we have quoted for :
Stage 1 desk study & walkover and hydrology assessment
Stage 2 site investigation, geotechnical assessment (bore holes to 15m , chemical testing) sustainable drainage report

There will also be ecology reports covering bat surveys, badger surveys, knotweed etc.

Will all of these have VAT ? I have also determined it is the British Virgin Isles (not the American)
thanks for your help

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Replying to IceQueen:
Psycho
By Wilson Philips
13th Sep 2019 11:45

I would say that the stage 1 and stage 2 assessments, and probably knotweed etc, are definitely land-related. The wildlife surveys I'm not so sure about - arguably the land element is incidental.

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Replying to Wilson Philips:
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By The Dullard
13th Sep 2019 11:53

Surely, the question is WHY were these surveys undertaken. Is the party for whom the surveys looking to purchase a particular piece of land? Or put a particular piece of land to a particular use that necessitates the surveys?

Or are they just generally interested in geological, environmental and ecological issues in a particular are, perhaps as part of some wider research?

I'd say that either the whole thing is land-related or it isn't, because it is less about the what and more about the why.

That does then also take us to the point that Justin was clumsily aiming at; WHO is the true recipient of the supply.

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By IceQueen
13th Sep 2019 11:19

Hi,
trying to find out exactly what we are doing on this project,
will come back on this
thanks

now found them see above

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By IceQueen
13th Sep 2019 12:33

Hi,

This particular one (where we are invoicing British Virgin Isles) is to seek planning permission to build. In this case they seem to be proposing 1 building. The building will have car parking, leisure centre, offices and apartments.

We are nothing to do with construction. We are environmental consultants, who check the land, drainage, ecology etc prior to planning applications. All our work is undertaken in GB.

The instructing client is in the UK, (and the approval to start work came from Dubai), and then they have asked us to invoice the company in B.Virgin Islands.

Sorry to be a nuisance with this, this is the first time we have been asked to invoice anyone in another country, normally work in GB for British companies.

thanks

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