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HMRC internal manual

VAT Single Market

HM Revenue & Customs
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Supply and acquisition: distance selling: supplies by UK businesses to other Member States


Article 220(2) of the Principal VAT Directive and regulation 13(1) of the VAT Regulations 1995 confirm that there is no requirement to issue VAT invoices for supplies to customers who are not registered for VAT, except where the supply is a distance sale. In that case VAT invoices must be issued and regulation 31 of the VAT Regulations 1995 requires that copies be retained.

Registering in other Member States

UK businesses making distance sales have a legal responsibility to register in Member States whose thresholds they have exceeded. For details of individual thresholds and registration procedures, businesses should check with the tax authority concerned. Contact details can be found on the website mentioned at VATSM1100.

Failure to register in another Member State

A UK business that has failed to register in another Member State should be instructed in writing to notify the relevant tax authorities of their turnover details. In the meantime the amount of any UK VAT incorrectly accounted for should be established, but no repayment is to be considered until evidence that the tax authorities in the Member State concerned have been notified is produced. Continuing failure to notify should be reported to Place & Time of Supply Team.