What are eServices?
An ‘eService’ is one that is delivered over the Internet (or an electronic network which is reliant on the Internet or similar network for its provision) and is heavily dependent on information technology for its supply – i.e. the service is essentially automated, involving minimal human intervention and in the absence of information technology does not have viability. The definition of electronically supplied services, transcribed from Annex 11 to the 2006 VAT Directive is contained in Section 2 of the VAT Consolidation Act 2010 as follows;
- “electronically supplied services” includes -
- website supply, web-hosting, distance maintenance of programmes and equipment,
- supply of software and updating of it,
- supply of images, text and information, and making databases available,
- supply of music, films and games (including games of chance and gambling games) and of political, cultural, artistic, sporting, scientific and entertainment broadcasts and events, and
- supply of distance teaching,
- and “electronic service” shall be construed accordingly, but where the supplier of a service and his or her customer communicate by means of electronic mail, this shall not of itself mean that the service performed is an electronic service.
See also the more detailed definition of electronically supplied services contained in Article 7 of Council Implementing Regulation of 15th March 2011 (282/2011/EU) which is reproduced in Appendix 1. In general, the use of the Internet or other electronic networks by parties to communicate with respect to transactions or to facilitate trading does not, any more than the use of a phone or fax, affect the normal VAT rules that apply. For example, where parties simply use the Internet to convey information in the course of a business transaction (e.g. email), this does not change the nature of that transaction. This differs from a supply that is completely dependent on the Internet in order to be carried out (e.g. searching and retrieving information from a database with no human intervention).
For further information on how EServices are treated for VAT and other tax heads please contact Ciaran Guilfoyle form Galway Accountants GBS & Co – www.easypayroll.ie