VAT and prices

VAT and prices

Entering a VAT registration number

A VAT registration number is alphanumeric and consists of up to 15 characters. The first two letters indicate the respective EU member state, e.g. GB for the United Kingdom or DE for Germany, and must be included when entering your VAT registration number.

How is VAT calculated?

VAT will be calculated in accordance with the VAT regulations in force at the time. See the HM Revenue & Customs website for more information.

Incorrect VAT information

If, as a result of incorrect information being submitted, a sale that should have been inclusive of VAT is made without VAT being charged, BSI reserves the right to recover a sum from the customer equal to the VAT that should have been charged.

VAT invoice

Please note that if you have purchased products in an electronic format (PDFs), you will receive your receipt by email within an hour. For all other items, such as hard copy standards, books, membership or conferences, you will receive your invoice as soon as we have processed and confirmed your order, which can take up to 24 hours.

What information is required on a VAT invoice?

The Value-Added Tax (VAT) invoice must show:

  • the date of issue
  • a unique sequential number
  • the supplier’s full name, address and registration number
  • the customer’s full name and address
  • in the case of a reverse charge, the customer’s VAT number and a notation that a ‘reverse charge applies’. (This does not apply to construction services subject to Relevant Contracts Tax)
  • in the case of a intra-Community supply of goods, the customer’s VAT number and  a notation that this is an ‘intra-Community supply of goods’
  • the quantity and nature of the goods supplied
  • the extent and nature of the services rendered
  • the VAT exclusive unit price
  • the payment received net of VAT
  • the discounts or price reductions
  • the breakdown by the rate of VAT
  • the total VAT payable in respect of the supply
  • the date on which the goods or services were supplied
  • in the case of early payment prior to the completion of the supply, the date on which the payment on account was made, if that date differs from the date of issue of the invoice
  • in the case where a tax representative is liable to pay the VAT in another Member State, the full name and address and the Member State’s VAT number of that representative must be shown.

VAT invoices where the reverse charge applies

In the case of the supply of goods or services for which VAT is accounted for under the reverse charge mechanism, the VAT payable is not displayed on the invoice issued.

VAT invoices where the special schemes applies

Where the margin scheme or the special scheme for auctioneers applies to a supply of goods, the invoice issued must not include an amount of VAT payable.

The invoice in relation to the margin scheme should be endorsed as follows:
Margin scheme — second-hand goods‘.

The invoice in relation to the auctioneer’s scheme should be endorsed as follows:
Margin scheme — auction goods‘.

Foreign currency on a VAT invoice

If you issue an invoice in a foreign currency, it must also show the corresponding figures in Euro.

You should use the selling rate recorded by the Central Bank at the time the invoice is due to be issued.

It is possible, by agreement with Revenue, to use an alternative method for determining the exchange rate, subject to the condition that the agreed method must be used in respect of all your foreign currency transactions.

You should apply to your Revenue Office indicating the exchange rate method that you propose to use.

For more information please contact our support term at

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