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HMRC internal manual

VAT Taxable Person Manual

Issues to consider: identifying disbursements in particular areas and trades: estate agents

Estate agents often separately itemise their costs when they prepare an invoice for the vendor on whose behalf they act. Such costs might include photographs, advertising, provision of notice boards etc.

These cannot be treated as disbursements: they are received and used by the estate agent, not by the client. In particular, commercial estate agents may obtain printed brochures giving details of their clients’ property. The supply to the estate agent may be zero-rated as printed matter, but that supply is used by the estate agent to help procure a sale, and must therefore be passed on with VAT when the charge to the vendor is made.