Completing a EC Sales List

UPDATE: The requirement to submit an EC Sales List for services provided to EU businesses on or after the 1st January 2021 has been removed, any services provided to an EU business prior to this date will however still need to be reported to HMRC.

Providing services to businesses in the EU may require you to complete a EC Sales List. This guide explains when and how to complete HMRC EC Sales List also known as a ESL or VAT101 form..

If you supply to VAT registered businesses in a European Union country (excluding the UK), the ‘place of supply’ is where your customer is and not the UK. Those services will be outside the scope of UK VAT and you will not charge your EU customer VAT.

Your customer will account for VAT in their country using what is known as the reverse charge procedure. Each calendar quarter where you provide services to a client based in the EU, you will need to complete and send a EC Sales List to HMRC.

Let’s start with services you don’t need to report sales on a EC Sales List:

  • Services to a business outside of the EU
  • Services to private individuals (consumers) in the EU – you must be charge VAT at normal UK rates
  • Services to businesses on the Isle of Man even though it is part of the EU VAT area

If you provide services to businesses in a country within the EU VAT area that are subject to the reverse charge procedure, you will need to fill out a EC Sales List.

When to send a EC Sales List

The EC Sales List needs to be sent to HMRC at the end of each calendar quarter (not your VAT quarter) when sales have been made to a EU country during that calendar quarter. If you’ve not provided services to a client in the EU during a calendar quarter, you don’t need to complete a EC Sales List.

The form needs to be sent to HMRC by the following dates:

Calendar QuarterPaper form to arrive by:Electronic submission by:
1 Jan to 31 Mar14 Apr21 Apr
1 Apr to 30 Jun14 Jul21 Jul
1 Jul to 30 Sep14 Oct21 Oct
1 Oct to 31 Dec14 Jan21 Jan

Completing a EC Sales List

The EC Sales List requires information about your company and the sales that have been made to VAT registered businesses in other EU countries.

To download the latest copy of the EC Sales List click here. It needs to be completed on a computer then printed out before you sign it. To complete the form you may need to download software such as Adobe reader.

When completing the form, in the header area you need to enter:

  • Your name and trading address
  • Your nine-digit VAT registration number
  • Period reference – for example 03 13. See table below
  • Period for goods / service from and to – these are the months and years for the period you are reporting
  • Branch/subsidiary identifier can be left blank unless you have been issued one
Calendar QuarterPeriod reference (MM YY)
1 Jan to 31 Mar 20YY03 YY
1 Apr to 30 Jun 20YY06 YY
1 Jul to 30 Sep 20YY09 YY
1 Oct to 31 Dec 20YY12 YY

In the body of the form enter:

  • The country where your customer resides
  • Your customers VAT registration number (excluding their country code, spaces, dashes and commas)
  • Total value of supplies made to that customer in £ sterling during the calendar quarter
  • Indicator box – enter 3 for services that were subject to reverse charge in your customers country

You need to sign the paper form then post it to HMRC, ECSL, Comben House, Farriers Way, Liverpool, L75 1AY. We recommend you keep a copy of the completed form for your records.

If you require further information about completing an EC Sales List, please get in contact or take a look at HMRC guidance.

Checks before completing the EC Sales List

You should always confirm your customer is a genuine business by asking them for their VAT registration number and validating it using the European Commissions website. It is recommended you retain a copy of evidence of the validation in your records.

You can refer to HMRC website for further information on EC VAT registration number formats if you experience problems validating a VAT registration number.