Online Conferences/Events and VAT post Brexit

Over the past year and a half many events and conferences have moved online. Even with the easing of restrictions many providers are keeping an online option available.

Last year we published a blog regarding the VAT treatment of online events/conferences, this was pre-Brexit, post-Brexit some of these treatments have now changed for non-business consumers based in EU member states.

Digital Supply or Not?

If an event/conference is taking place online, it does not necessarily mean that it will fall within the definition of a digital supply. There is specific guidance available from HMRC on what is and isn’t classed as a digital supply, see 

For example:

  • If a conference is pre-recorded or is being live-streamed via the internet at the same time as transmitted by radio or television, it will be a digital supply.
  • If a conference is delivered live online only, it will not be a digital supply.


Business to Business Supplies

Digital and non-digital supplies made to a VAT registered business (B2B) are treated in the same way, the place of supply is where the customer is based. So if you are invoicing a UK company UK VAT would be charged, invoicing outside the UK and the customer needs to account for the VAT at their local rate.

To determine if the supply is being made to a business they should provide their VAT registration number. If they are unable to provide their VAT registration number you can accept other evidence of business status, for example a link to their business website or other commercial documents. It is your decision to accept alternative evidence, if it is not accepted then the sale must be treated as a sale to an individual.

Non-Digital Supplies to Consumers

Non-digital supplies made to non-UK non-business individuals (B2C) would be classed as outside the scope of UK VAT and therefore no UK VAT will be charged. Pre-Brexit this supply was subject to UK VAT at the standard rate.

Digital Supplies to Consumers

Digital supplies made to consumers (B2C) may be liable to VAT in the country where the consumer is based as the place of supply is deemed to be where the consumer belongs.

For supplies made to EU individuals they are subject to VAT in the country the individual resides. You may need to register for the Non-Union VAT OSS scheme in one EU member state to account for all the VAT charged to EU individuals at the local rate of their country or you could register for VAT in each EU member state where you supply digital services to consumers.

UK individuals would be charged UK VAT at the standard rate. Individuals outside the UK/EU would not be charged VAT.

If you sell digital services to consumers via a third party platform or marketplace, the platform may be responsible for accounting for the VAT.

For further guidance on OSS and sales made via third party platforms see: 

As you can see from above concluding if the event is digital or not is extremely important, especially when it is for supplies made to non-business individuals outside the UK. It can change the treatment from simply being outside the scope and no UK VAT charged to having to consider registration in an EU Member State.

The above is a very brief overview, there are also use and enjoyment rules that may need to be considered.

If you have any questions or require any assistance with this or any other VAT related matters , then please get in touch! You can call on 01243 782 423 or head to our contact form.

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