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HMRC internal manual

VAT Traders’ Records Manual

Other Invoicing arrangements: Authenticated receipts: How authenticated receipts work

Use of the procedure should normally be agreed between the customer and the supplier and is commonly specified in the contract between the parties. The procedure is operated by customers who prepare receipts for supplies they have received, and forward them to their suppliers with payment. This practice should not be confused with self-billing. The receipts are not valid for VAT purposes until the supplier has authenticated them. The procedure only operates when:

  • services, or services together with goods, are supplied in the course of the construction, alteration, demolition, repair or maintenance of a building or of any civil engineering work
  • the contract provides for payments for such services, or services together with goods, to be made periodically, or from time to time.

Where a supplier is party to an authenticated receipt procedure, his customer should not expect him to provide normal VAT invoices as well as authenticating the receipts that the supplier sends him.

Some suppliers choose to ignore the receipts provided by their customers and issue normal VAT invoices instead. In these circumstances it is important to establish that the supplier is accounting for output tax in the period in which payment was received.