Figuring out digital services

18 July 2014

John Sheehan continues his series on the new rules for the place of supply for digital services and the introduction of Mini One-Stop Shops (MOSS) for VAT purposes.

Digital services fall into 3 main categories:-

  • Telecommunications Services (Telecoms),
  • Broadcasting Services, and
  • Electronic Services.

Telecoms are largely what would be expected by the heading and include fixed and mobile telephone services, telephone services provided by Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), call management services, such as voicemail and call waiting, paging, fax, and telex.

Broadcasting Services include radio or television programmes that are made available to the general public via communications networks by media service providers, for simultaneous listening or viewing, on the basis of a programme schedule. As well the usual TV and radio broadcasts, it includes programmes available on the internet where these are broadcast at the same time as the ‘on-air’ programmes.

The Electronic Services heading covers a rather more diverse range of services and may be the area that causes more problems for small and medium-sized businesses. The heading includes:

  • Software including updates.
  • Remote software maintenance
  • Website hosting.
  • App, film and music downloads.
  • Charges made by the likes of EBay for providing an on-line auction site.
  • On-line gaming.