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HMRC internal manual

VAT Time of supply

Legislation: UK primary law (VAT Act 1994): Section 6(2) Basic tax point (goods)


(2) Subject to subsections (4) to (14) below, a supply of goods shall be treated as taking place -

(a) if the goods are to be removed, at the time of the removal;

(b) if the goods are not to be removed, at the time when they are made available to the person to whom they are supplied;

(c) if the goods (being sent or taken on approval or sale or return or similar terms) are removed before it is known whether a supply will take place, at the time when it becomes certain that the supply has taken place or, if sooner, 12 months after the removal.


Section 6(2) fixes the ‘basic’ tax point for goods. This can be the time of removal (that is to say collection or delivery), the time the goods are made available (but only where the supply does not involve removal), or the time of adoption. The important point about this subsection is that, along with subsection (3), it is subject to the rest of section 6 of the Act. This means that the basic tax point is always overridden wherever one of the other subsections (including regulations made under 6(14)) applies. For further information see VATTOS4200.