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HMRC internal manual

VAT Finance Manual

Intermediaries: When is someone acting as an intermediary?: What does

Note (5A) states that in order for someone to be acting in an intermediary capacity, they must act between a person providing financial services (see VATFIN7100) and a person who is or may be seeking to receive financial services.

The ECJ confirmed in the case of CSC (see VATFIN7230) that itwas not an intermediary because it was “… occupying the same position…” as Sun Alliance while taking calls and receiving forms, and also because CSC’s activities were clerical activities which would normally have been done by Sun Alliance.

There can be more than one intermediary involved in the provision of a financial service. To be acting in an intermediary capacity a business will be acting somewhere in the chain of supply of the provision of a financial service and will meet the criteria set out in VATFIN7210. This does not necessarily mean that they will have direct contact with the finance provider or customer because there can be more than one intermediary in the chain. It does mean, however, that at one end of the chain there will be a business that has direct contact with the customer seeking the financial service and at the other end there will be a business that has direct contact with the financial service provider. This was confirmed in the ECJ case of Volker Ludwig (C-453/05) which found “the fact that the taxable person has no contractual link with any of the parties….and that he does not establish direct contact with one of those parties does not preclude that taxable person from providing a service of negotiation….which is exempt….”