VAT and conference fees

Forum Categories GENERAL VAT DISCUSSIONS VAT and conference fees

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    We are a UK Charity hosting a conference outside the UK.

    Conference fees cover accommodation, food, transportation, and activities.

    The registration fees received from outside the UK are treated as outside the scope of VAT.  How do you treat the conference fees received from UK attendees?

    Trevor S

    The key is to establish where the “place of supply” is.  HMRC’s notice 741A covers this:

    From your description, sections 9.3 and 9.4 may apply.  If this is the case, the place of supply is the foreign country where the conference is being held.  UK VAT wouldn’t be chargeable to either UK or overseas attendees – but you may have some liability for VAT or similar taxes in the foreign country.

    My only doubts on this is that your description does appear to include a wider bundle of services than HMRC’s wording – would they all count as “ancillary”?  If the service package you’re supplying doesn’t fit within the HMRC definitions in 9.3/9.4, you’re back to the general rule of charging UK VAT to UK-based customers.


    Thanks Trevor; this appears to be a grey area, so I rang HMRC helpline but the chap who answered was unable to help and asked me to send an email.

    Fingers crossed that I get a reply before Monday’s deadline to file the Vat Return.

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