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Ask an expert: VAT on international services


A UK client has just established an online business marketing stays in serviced apartments belonging to third-party owners to business and holiday travellers. Most of the owners reside overseas. Visitors to the website can reserve a stay at one of the featured overseas apartments in European continental cities. The client advertises the owner’s accommodation provides owners with an online reservations service takes bookings handles check-ins and check-outs and collects payments and deposits acting in all cases as the disclosed agent for and on behalf of the owners. The client is paid a commission by the owner on each booking. Should it be VAT-registered?


A business’s liability to be VAT-registered requires an understanding of the place of supply of the services it makes. This determines...

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