Internal trade and trade with subsidiary companies

Internal trade

The uBASE system is used to purchase goods and services.  Access to uBASE is restricted by profile to authorised users who have been trained to use the system.  The profile required to process a purchase requisition and create the internal trade purchase order is ‘Orderer’.

Internal trade is the supply of goods or services provided by one University department to another. VAT is never charged on internal trade.

  • use Tax Code XA for internal trade purchases
  • use Tax Code ZA for internal trade sales

Note that, if one department is buying goods or services which are to be provided to another (for example, Estates Department purchases the services of an external plumber for an Academic Department), although the supplying department cannot charge VAT, it may need to include the VAT charged by the external supplier in its internal charge. The supplying department is not ‘charging’ VAT in these circumstances, but is merely passing through the full cost of the purchase, including the VAT.

Subsidiary companies

The University has created a ‘VAT group’. A VAT group is where a number of related companies agree to be treated as a single legal entity for VAT purposes and the effect is that, as with internal trade, any charges between the members of the VAT group, no matter what they relate to, are ignored for VAT purposes (i.e. VAT is never charged).

The current members of the University VAT group are:

  • The University of Sheffield
  • Sheffield University Enterprises Ltd (SUEL)
  • South Yorkshire Education Services Ltd (SYES)
  • Escafeld Estates Ltd
  • Epi Genesys Ltd
  • AMRC (Management) Ltd
  • Risk 2 Value Ltd

Any supplies of goods or services made between these bodies are outside the scope of VAT.

  • use Tax Code XX for intra VAT group purchases
  • use Tax Code ZZ for intra VAT group sales


Need help or more information?

Who to contact
If you need advice or guidance on VAT then contact the Tax section.