Current as of 3 November 2016

Value added tax (VAT) or goods and services tax (GST), also known as indirect taxes, are consumption taxes levied on any value that is added to a product. These are considered indirect taxes since the tax is levied on commodities or services before they reach the consumer but ultimately paid by the consumer as part of the market price before being paid to the government.

Indirect tax general information

  • VAT (Value Added Tax) and GST (Goods and Services Tax) are non-U.S. consumption taxes imposed on sales of goods by businesses at each stage of production and distribution.
  • For VAT and GST purposes, the term "business" includes any activity carried on, whether for profit or not for profit, that involves or is intended to involve the sale of property or services.
  • VAT and GST are also imposed on sales of services as they are rendered.
  • VAT and GST is a tax on consumer expenditures and in theory should not fall on business activities.
  • This is achieved by the input/output system:
    • When a business operating in a VAT/GST country buys goods or services, it pays tax to the supplier, which is called an input tax.
    • When the same business sells goods or services, whether to another business or to a final consumer, it is required to charge tax, which is called an output tax.
    • The business then must periodically total the input tax and deduct it from the output tax, paying the excess output tax to the government agency responsible for collecting it.
  • In situations where IEEE is sponsoring an IEEE conference in a VAT/GST assessing country, the conference must take steps to comply with VAT/GST requirements on sales of conference admissions and other product sales.
  • The compliance is governed by the regulations of the country where the conference is held regardless of if the registration fees are collected in the U.S.


Contact IEEE Conference Business Operations at for guidance on the indirect tax requirements for your conference.