Legislation: UK secondary law (VAT Regulations 1995): Regulation 86 supplies of water, gas or any form of power, heat, refrigeration or other cooling, or ventilation
86(1) Except in relation to a supply to which subsections (7) and (8) of section 6 of the Act apply, and subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) below, a supply of -
(a) water other than -
(i) distilled water, deionised water and water of similar purity, and (ii) water comprised in any of the excepted items set out in Group 1 of Schedule 8 to the Act, or
(b) coal gas, water gas, producer gases or similar gases, or
(c) petroleum gases, or other gaseous hydrocarbons, in a gaseous state, or
(d) any form of power, heat, refrigeration or other cooling, or ventilation,
shall be treated as taking place each time that a payment in respect of the supply is received by the supplier, or a VAT invoice relating to the supply is issued by the supplier, whichever is the earlier.
(2) Subject to paragraph (3) below, where the whole or part of the consideration for a supply such as is described in paragraph 1(a), (b) or (c) above or of power in the form of electricity is determined or payable periodically or from time to time, goods shall be treated as separately and successively supplied at the earlier of the following times -
(a) each time that a part of the consideration is received by the supplier, or
(b) each time that the supplier issues a VAT invoice relating to the supply.
(3) Where separate and successive supplies as described in paragraph (2) above are made under an agreement which provides for successive payments, and the supplier at or about the beginning of any period not exceeding one year, issues a VAT invoice containing, in addition to the particulars specified in regulation 14, the following particulars -
(a) the dates on which payments under the agreement are to become due in the period,
(b) the amount payable (excluding VAT) on each such date, and
(c) the rate of VAT in force at the time of issue of the VAT invoice and the amount of VAT chargeable in accordance with that rate on each of such payments,
goods shall be treated as separately and successively supplied each time that payment in respect of the supply becomes due or is received by the supplier, whichever is the earlier.
(4) Where, on or before any of the dates that a payment is due as stated on an invoice issued as described in paragraph (3) above, there is a change in the VAT chargeable on supplies of the description to which the invoice relates, that invoice shall cease to be treated as a VAT invoice in respect of any such supplies for which payments are due after the change (and not received before the change).
(5) A supply mentioned in paragraph (1)(a), (b), (c) or (d) above to which subsections (7) and (8) of section 6 of the Act apply shall be treated as taking place on the day of the issue of a VAT invoice in respect of the supply.
The most common application of this regulation is to piped supplies of both gas and water and metered supplies of electricity. However, it also applies to the various other supplies described in 86(1).
The regulation also allows for the issue of a single VAT invoice, sometimes referred to as a period VAT invoice (see VATTOS5220), covering all the payments or instalments that are due in respect of a supply over a period not exceeding a year. Further special rules are set out at 86(5) which cover intra-EC supplies. For further information see VATTOS9700.