B2B supplies of services fall under the general rule, and the supply is made where the customer belongs, unless it falls into any the exceptions set out in VAT Notice 741A section 6.4.
As the letting on hire of goods, your client’s supply will fall under the use and enjoyment exception and this ensures taxation takes place where the services are used and enjoyed. The following services are covered by the rules:
- The letting on hire of goods – including the means of transport
- B2B electronically supplied services
- B2B telecommunication services
- B2B repairs to goods under an insurance claim
- Radio and television broadcasting services.
The use and enjoyment provisions apply in either of the following scenarios: where the place of supply would be:
- The UK, but the services are effectively used and enjoyed outside the EU, or
- Outside the EU, but the services are effectively used and enjoyed in the UK.
This is confirmed in section 13 of Notice 741A: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-place-of-supply-of-services-notice-741a#sec13
In summary, the supply of AV equipment to a business customer in Canada is a general rule supply so the place of supply would be Canada, where the customer belongs. However, as the services are effectively used in the UK then the use and enjoyment provisions apply and render the supply liable to VAT in the UK; in this case, a standard rated supply.
The Canadian company should be registering for VAT in the UK as a Non-Established Taxable Person (NETP) if it is putting on its own events in the UK. There is a nil threshold for NETPs and they cannot work their way up to the £85,000 for VAT registration purposes. Being UK VAT registered, the company would recover the VAT charged by your client.
Please share this article with your clients
Our team of experts have a wealth of experience and can also provide a written consultancy service at competitive rates.