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HMRC internal manual

VAT Time of supply

Tax points for specific categories of supplier: solicitors: introduction

The activities of a solicitor are closely regulated by statute and are subject to rigorous control by the Law Society. For example, fees can be subject to scrutiny and adjustment under the formal taxation procedures or by the Legal Services Commission.

Also, a solicitor is subject to statutory requirements over the way in which the business accounts are kept and the way fees are billed to a client. These factors can, in some circumstances, make compliance with normal VAT accounting requirements more difficult. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that there are no special tax point rules for the supplies made by a solicitor and, with the exception of the centrally agreed extension to the 14 day rule (see VATTOS5245), they are subject to the normal time of supply rules for services.

Generally speaking the services provided by a solicitor will fall into one of two categories. These are ‘contentious’ and ‘non-contentious’ matters. Contentious work includes such things as court work and litigation. Non-contentious matters involve things like conveyancing, probate and trusts.