VAT - Autumn Statement
The Chancellor took a light approach to VAT this time, possibly remembering the pasty tax debacle and with an eye to the election next year. Some modest but welcome changes were announced, as follows:
VAT Refunds to Specific Bodies
- Air Ambulance / Search & Rescue: It was announced that the Treasury would refund VAT to Air Ambulances (as mentioned in previous announcements) as well as Search & Rescue units.
- Hospices: In addition, Osborne announced he was refunding VAT to Hospice charities. This is notable as these charities suffer from the unfair impact of VAT rules that permit NHS bodies performing similar functions to apply for VAT refunds. This pragmatic measure seeks to rebalance this iniquity, and avoids the lengthier process of trying to alter the underlying VAT rules (a much more difficult challenge).
- Cathedrals / Churches: Mention was also made of an extension to the Cathedral Renovation Fund to cover certain repairs to churches. (Separately, the LPOW fund is also due to expire with this Parliament, so this will be an area of interest for those charged with the upkeep of such buildings, who previously lost the benefit of zero-rating the VAT on works).
Date: 4th December, 2014
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