HMRC, bless them, are not known for their transparency, simplicity or use of plain English. And the fact that they’re hosting a free seminar about changes to the VAT system’s ‘place of supply’ rules hints that the new system is going to be just as incomprehensible to many ordinary business owners as the current one. If it takes an entire seminar to explain them, the new rules are probably far from simple. The seminar is being held in London, at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster, on 2nd June. It has been specially designed to help business owners understand the new VAT place of supply rules and get a grasp of the VAT Mini One Stop Shop – AKA MOSS – business simplification system. The new rules come into play from 2015, kicking in on New Year’s Day. They mean you will have to comply with VAT place of supply rules if you provide business-to-consumer broadcasting, telecomms or electronic services. As you can imagine, key representatives from these sectors have already been invited to the event.

What do the VAT place of supply changes mean?

The explanation from the government’s website also hints at confusion to come. I’ve lifted the following two sentences directly from the site, and as you can see they are far from straightforward. I know what they mean because I’m a VAT expert. But what about you?

1. The new rules change the official place of supply, and therefore the taxation, for businesses supplying BTE services from the place where the supplier of the services is established to the place where the customer is resident or located.

2. The supplier of these services will also have the option to account for the VAT due in any EU Member States where they are not established by using the VAT MOSS online service. Using VAT MOSS will allow suppliers to register, make returns and issue payments in a single member state.

Lost in space?

I’ll help make things clear If you supply BTE services and you’re concerned about the new rules, get in touch and I’ll make them crystal clear for you.