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If services which are not on the excepted list below are procured from outside the UK, the supplier should not charge VAT.

As with goods, this is not as beneficial as it might seem because the University is required by law to charge itself VAT at the UK standard rate of 20% if the services would have been subject to standard rate VAT if purchased in this country. This tax is called Reverse Charge VAT (Services Tax on CUFS).

To enter an invoice for services bought from outside the UK on CUFS you will need to enter the amount of the invoice, enter £0 in the tax control box and then attribute the invoice to the tax code of 'Services Tax'.

So, if the service you have been provided with would have been charged VAT if it had been supplied in the UK, you should self-charge VAT as follows:

 If you have an invoice for £100

  • Enter £100 in the invoice amount box. Enter £0 in the Tax Amount box.
  • Select Services Tax as the VAT rate.
  • The system will automatically then calculate the Reverse Charge VAT in the distributions.


Examples of common service purchases in the University and the VAT rate to choose.

  • Electronic Media
    If electronic media is purchased from outside the UK you will need to apply the reverse charge tax as this would be a taxable supply if supplied in the UK. Services Tax should be selected on UFS when processed.

  • Consultancy supplied by an overseas person
    This is subject to VAT if supplied in the UK and therefore you should apply the reverse tax charge. Services Tax should be selected on CUFS when processed


You will need to provide the University's VAT number (GB 823 8476 09) or the supplier will charge you VAT at the rate applicable in their country. This VAT charge will only apply to services from outside the UK if the services are VATable in the UK, or if they are not one of the excepted items below.

Excepted items - no Reverse Charge VAT applicable

  • Services relating to land
  • Passenger transport
  • Right of admission to cultural/educational events including conference, seminar and course fees
  • Catering services
  • Hire of goods used outside the UK


Please see our CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 Assistance pages for help with areas of Finance during the current situation.

UFS issued communications and the University website also contain information on this topic

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