UK updates VAT rules for EU electronic invoice Directive

Sun 2nd Dec 2012

The UK’s HMRC, which oversees the administration of the UK’s VAT regime, has released this week new guidance on invoices.  The changes follow the European Union’s 2010 VAT invoicing directive, and are being implemented across Europe.

The principle changes to the UK VAT compliance system include:

  • Full implementation of the option to VAT invoice electronically only.  This includes compliance and control obligations for electronic secure signatures. The one condition is that the end customer must be in agreement.
  • The limit for no requirement for issuing a VAT invoice has been changed to £250, except if it is for a supply of goods or services to another EU country.
  • Changes to the time of supply rules for the provision of utilities, including power and water.  The new tax point will be the earlier of payment or when the invoice is issued.

The new rules will be effective from 1 January 2013.  Many other countries are also implementing similar changes, including Germany which was the pioneer in simplifying its electronic VAT regime.  Portugal is expected to release similar proposals in the next few days.

The EU’s electronic VAT Directive is part of the ongoing efforts of the European Union to harmonise the tax and accounting compliance regulations of the region.

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