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HMRC internal manual

VAT Finance Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Intermediaries: When is someone acting as an intermediary?: What does "...work preparatory to..." mean?

In addition to bringing together someone seeking and someone providing financial services, note (5) further defines the words “intermediary services”. In the case of financial services falling within item 1, 2, 3 or 4, an intermediary must perform work preparatory to the conclusion of contracts for the provision of financial services. This could include helping a client to fill in an application form, checking and then forwarding them to the provider of the financial services. It would also include a distinct act of mediation (see VATFIN7230), such as negotiating the terms of a contract.

Work preparatory to the conclusion of contracts can also apply where something is done electronically, such as when an application form is submitted via the Internet and it is checked using software. It is important to remember that, in these cases, there must have been a bringing together of the parties in addition to any preparatory work done.