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HMRC internal manual

VAT Place of Supply of Services

Other services to non-EU customers (B2C): Telecommunications

The VAT Act 1994 defines telecommunications services as

Telecommunications services, that is services relating to the transmission, emission, or reception of signals, writing, images and sounds or information of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic systems, including -

(a) the related transfer or assignment of the right to use capacity for such transmission, emission or reception, and

(b) the provision of access to global information networks.

Examples include

  • telephone calls, calls delivered by cellular phones, paging, the transmission element of Electronic Data Interchange, teleconferencing and call-back services
  • switching, completion of another provider’s calls, the provision of leased lines and circuits or global networks
  • telex, facsimile, multi-messaging
  • e-mail and access to the Internet
  • satellite transmission services, covering transponder rental/hire and both space segments and earth segments, which includes uplinks and downlinks via land earth stations, coastal stations, outside broadcasting units, or similar; and delivery of someone else’s information
  • phone cards (you will also need to consider the rules applicable to vouchers)

Exclusions are

  • the supply of “content” of a transmission - treatment depends on the nature of the actual services (this may be a supply that fulfils the conditions to be regarded as an electronically supplied service - see VATPOSS13550), and
  • broadcasting (see VATPOSS13500).

Telecommunication services are subject to the use and enjoyment provision where the place of supply is outside the EU but consumption takes place with the UK (see VATPOSS15000).