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HMRC internal manual

VAT Place of Supply of Services

Where performed services: Supplies of admission to relevant business customers: Introduction

Scope of the guidance

This guidance only looks at the place of supply of admission to an event. It does not cover liability which must be considered on its own merit. For example, a supply of admission to an event may, subject to the normal rules, still fall within the scope of the educational exemption. For more on this see the Education Liability manual (V1-7).

Where admission to an event is supplied to business customers along with other services (such as transport or accommodation) it may fall within the Tour Operators’ Margin Scheme (see Guidance V1-23 Chapter 12 Tour Operators’s Margin Scheme).


The interpretation of Article 53 of the Principal VAT Directive (“PVD”) (see VATPOSS08200) is subject to Article 32 of the EU VAT Implementing Regulations (“the Regulations”) (Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No 282/2011). The Regulations have direct effect on Member States and so do not require implementation in domestic law.

Article 32 states

  1. Services in respect of admission to cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific, educational, entertainment or similar events as referred to in Article 53 of Directive 2006/112/EC shall include the supply of services of which the essential characteristics are the granting of the right of admission to an event in exchange for a ticket or payment, including payment in the form of a subscription, a season ticket or a periodic fee.

  2. Paragraph 1 shall apply in particular to:

(a) the right of admission to shows, theatrical performances, circus performances, fairs, amusement parks, concerts, exhibitions, and other similar cultural events;

(b) the right of admission to sporting events such as matches or competitions;

(c) the right of admission to educational and scientific events such as conferences and seminars.
  1. Paragraph 1 shall not cover the use of facilities such as gymnastics halls and suchlike, in exchange for the payment of a fee.

The combined effect of Article 53 of the PVD and Article 32 of the Regulations is to make the place of supply where the event takes place. The general rule (VATPOSS06000) therefore does not apply. The key to interpreting Article 32 is to understand what is meant by “admission” (see VATPOSS08254) and “event” (see VATPOSS08256).