VAT Question of the Week


My client whose main activity is farming, has been approached by a telecoms company who are based in the Republic of Ireland, who wish to site a phone mast on my clients land in the UK. The telecoms company say they are not expecting any VAT to be charged. Is this because they are based overseas?



The two issues to consider here are the place of supply of your client’s service and the VAT liability.

Allowing a phone mast to be sited on land constitutes a licence to occupy. This is a land related supply, one of the few exceptions to the business to business general rule. As such the place of supply is where the land is situated.

However in terms of VAT liability, a licence to occupy is exempt from VAT, unless the client has waived the exemption by opting to tax the land in question. If they have opted to tax they should charge VAT irrespective of the fact the customer is based overseas.

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