I help out at a UK VAT regd service company and we have been asked to
carry out some services in the UK for a US based company. Billing will
be to the company at their US address, they don't have a UK presence.
My thoughts are that as the services are being provided in the UK that
we must charge VAT to the client even though they are a US entity.
Simplest to just phone your local VAT office and ask.
But I've supplied software to companies (not consumers) in countries in the
EU, and Switzerland (not in EU), and haven't had to charge VAT.
So it sounds unlikely to me you'd need to charge VAT for your services, in
the same way they probably wouldn't charge you sales tax on services they
provide in the US for you; it makes it harder to recover the VAT for a
In article , BartC writes
Thanks for your reply.
Cynical, but from experience in dealing with government departments:
1. Never approach them with a question that you do not already know the
2. Where the answer to a question could result in less revenue being
paid to the organisation, expect the opposite answer.
Your Swiss (non EU) supply is closest I think but it still involves a
supply abroad rather than a supply in the UK being paid for by someone
abroad so doesn't really cover the case.
See above, I don't think your scenario applies. Note that HMRC are going
after large organisation abroad making supplies of downloadable
software to individuals in the UK, they argue that as the supply in the
UK, VAT must be accounted for.
 ie. Going after large concerns as it is worth their while to chase
In article , Peter Saxton
Thanks Peter, searching for 'international' rather than 'abroad' appears
to help ;-)
Following that link and tree takes me to:
for the General Rules on Services:
The general rule for working out the place of supply of services (apart
from those covered by special rules)
You supply services to a: The place of supply is:
business customer the place where the customer belongs
non-business customer the place where the supplier belongs
Fortunately our services appear to fall within the General Rules and so,
as a business to business supply, we will not have to charge or account