Dealing with collecting/exempting VAT as a UN consultant?

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Joined: 09 Aug 2019, 08:36

Dealing with collecting/exempting VAT as a UN consultant?

Post by ely » 03 Jan 2020, 15:20


How does one deal with VAT when working as a consultant/contractor with the UN?

I am a consultant based in an EU country and have been offered a short-term consultancy for a UN organisation based in another EU country - just for service delivery for under $15,000. In the bid form that I completed, it merely asked for my daily rate as a lump sum and there was no place to specify that it was exclusive of VAT.

For a client based in the EU, I would normally either collect VAT (non-business) or reverse the VAT (for a business). However, I've never done this for the UN where the contract is based in the EU. My understanding is that the UN is VAT exempt, but in my research I'm unclear how this works in practice.
- Do I charge and collect VAT from the UN, which they later claim back? Would I run into issues with this with the UN if I have a lump sum contract?
- Can I obtain an exemption certificate from the UN (some of my research suggests that I can only do this for very large amounts, more than my contract) and just not have to collect VAT in the first place?
- Something else?

To clarify: I'm NOT asking about the income taxes for which I'm liable for and will pay to my country of residence, but the VAT which I'm required to collect from clients for service provision.

I'll follow-up with the specific office next week, but just want to have a sense of how it is dealt with from other consultants/contractors. Thanks very much for any help!

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