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HMRC internal manual

VAT Business/Non-Business Manual

Specific issues: services provided with the recovery of debts across the UK

The legal procedures under which a creditor may seek to recover a debt vary according to:

  • the nature and size of the debt; and
  • the area of the United Kingdom in which recovery is attempted.

This section of the manual gives guidance on the VAT liability of the services provided by the different people involved.

Bailiffs, sheriff officers and other people connected with the recovery of debt are normally regarded as office holders for VAT purposes, provided they are not employees. If they are employees their services are outside the scope of VAT.

Unless stated otherwise these offices are regarded as being accepted in the course or furtherance of the holder’s business. The services supplied by the office holder are therefore liable to VAT under the provisions of section 94(4) of the VAT Act 1994.