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HMRC internal manual

VAT Time of supply

Identifying a tax point: the basic tax point

A supply that does not fall into any of the specialised categories (see VATTOS3400) will fall within the scope of the normal tax point rules. These comprise of what are often referred to as the basic and actual tax points. To apply the actual tax point rules it is first necessary to establish if and when the basic tax point occurred.

In most cases the basic tax point for a supply of goods occurs on their removal. This normally means the time of delivery by the supplier or collection by the buyer. However, some goods are supplied in situ. This will always be the case where the goods themselves are immovable. It also applies where, for example, the goods are the subject of a multiple or chain supply with delivery/collection only occurring in relation, say, to the last supply. An example of this is where goods are supplied via a finance company. For supplies that do not involve removal of the goods, the basic tax point occurs when they are made available to the customer.

The basic tax point for a supply of services is when the services are performed. This normally means the point in time when the services have been completed apart from any outstanding invoicing to the customer. For more information about basic tax points see VATTOS4000.