forrest gump
Share this content

VAT rules on weddings planning/organisation by UK company in

VAT rules on weddings planning/organisation by...


I am looking for confirmation on the matters below:

A UK company, weddings planner and vat-registered in the UK, wants to organise weddings in another EU country. My understanding is that: 

It will be charged local VAT rate on purchases of materials within the other country which are not removed to the UK but used there in its activities. So, it will not be able to claim back the VAT in the UK.

Place of supply for wedding planning/organisation is in the country in which the event takes place and hence the UK company is liable to register for VAT in the other country. That means of course dual VAT registration (UK for UK sales). The only way to avoid that, is by describing the service it provides as consultancy (in that case normal rules apply ie place of supply is the UK.  

If required to register in the other EU country, it will also  be able to claim back vat on purchase of goods in the other country. 

Many thanks


Please login or register to join the discussion.

22nd Feb 2016 08:23

Place of Supply

The Place of Supply for an event will be where the event takes place, as you say. This will trigger a liability to register in other EU Member States. It you describe the service as something else, it does not change the nature of the service, so the PoS remains where the event takes place.

Indeed, as you say, register in other MSs will allow recovery of VAT there.

I suspect the real issue is the administrative cost of registering in multiple MSs. If only there was a MOSS for such activities!

Thanks (0)
22nd Feb 2016 10:42


Thanks (1)
22nd Feb 2016 12:30

Unnecessarily prescriptive...

Portia Nina Levin wrote:

That seems unnecessarily prescriptive, Dick and Harry should be allowed to get married too. Maybe to each other should they be so inclined.

Although I will admit that reading through this that name you mention was also foremost in my mind.

Thanks (0)
01st Mar 2016 12:33

notice 709/5 would not apply?

Thanks for your kind responses. Regarding TOMS, after reading VAT notice 709/5, I am not sure if it applies to UK weddings organisers in another EU country. By reading the examples given on in-house costs (conferences, training, shooting trips), it is clear that TOMS applies where a business will purchase places for its customers in those events organised by other business and not if it puts together different elements separately to prepare a package (e.g. hiring hotel for customers to stay, hiring a reception hall, arranging for car hires etc). I would think that TOMS would only apply if the UK company purchases a wedding package from an EU company and re-sells it to its customers, Is my understanding correct? If my understanding is correct, surely that UK company would be required to register for VAT in the other EU country for those supplies. Many thanks.

Thanks (0)
13th May 2016 19:18

TOMS only applies (Per the UK authorities. Who knows about authorities in destination? In practice not an issue.) if the business buys in and resells certain supplies such as accommodation. See list at para 2.9 of 709/5/2009 and flowchart on my website
Your initial enquiry does not state precisely what this business does. If it only does the wedding event and no accommodation or passenger transport etc then TOMS will probably not apply. Hence Les Howard's reply.
If however as appears from your subsequent post it also does accommodation or passenger transport etc then TOMS will probably apply and in that case in practice it will apply to the wedding events too (see para 2.10). A wedding in a church followed by a meal in a hotel may feel very different to a concert followed by a meal in a restaurant but these supplies look similar to a VAT specialist and the latter would commonly fall into TOMS in many a holiday package. I would hesitate to conclude that they are making inhouse supplies. Inhouse supplies are over-rated. They may reduce the UK liability but what is the answer when HMRC ask for the local VAT registration details?
Your subsequent post suggests that in addition to the wedding event, the supply includes accommodation and car hire (both in para 2.9) so it looks very much like TOMS to me.
Assuming of course that they act as principal (difficult to see how they could act as agent), sell to a consumer (rather than to another tour operator) and to the extent that they do not make a material alteration (a lousy concept). Your comparison between conferences (inhouse) and package holidays is apt but HMRC have always refused to see a package holiday as more than the sum of its parts and they do not see this sort of thing as inhouse. And anyway, does the business want to register in all the other member states in which it organises weddings?

Thanks (1)
Share this content