What are EC Services?

Definition of EC Services

EC Services are services that a UK business supplies to customers in the wider EU, outside the UK. The same term might also be used for services that a UK business buys in from the wider EU.

EC stands for the European Commission.

UK businesses that are registered for VAT and supplying services must identify whether they are making sales to businesses or consumers in the wider EU.

Sales of services to businesses in the wider EU are usually outside the scope of UK VAT, because the customer will account for VAT.

Sales of services to consumers in the wider EU are subject to UK VAT in the same way as sales to UK customers would be.

The rules are changing for certain services supplied to consumers from 1st January 2015, which will be subject to VAT at the local rate where the customer is.

If you buy in services from businesses who are based outside the UK, you need to record VAT on these services under the 'reverse charge' mechanism. This doesn't result in extra VAT to pay or reclaim.

Disclaimer: The content included in this glossary is based on our understanding of tax law at the time of publication. It may be subject to change and may not be applicable to your circumstances, so should not be relied upon. You are responsible for complying with tax law and should seek independent advice if you require further information about the content included in this glossary. If you don't have an accountant, take a look at our directory to find a FreeAgent Practice Partner based in your local area.

Bookkeeping and tax tips

If you check this box, we’ll send you business tips tailored for landlords. If you’d like more general small business tips, leave it unchecked.

We are committed to keeping your information safe. Read our Privacy Policy to find out more.

Related Definitions

Are you an accountant or bookkeeper?

Find out more about FreeAgent for your practice.