VAT refund scheme for charities
Main narrative treatment—V1.299, V5.162D.
1.1 Information in this notice
This notice explains the VAT rules that apply to charities eligible for refunds of VAT under VATA 1994, ss 33C and 33D.
It only applies to those charities which are defined as a qualifying charity in VATA 1994, s 33D.
• palliative care charities
• air ambulance charities
• search and rescue charities
• medical courier charities.
It also explains which charities are eligible to use the refund scheme to claim a refund of VAT incurred on goods and services used for their non-business activities, what to do when circumstances change, what falls within the scope of the refund scheme and how to make a claim.
The notice assumes a working knowledge of basic VAT principles, as outlined in VAT Notice 700 'The VAT guide'.
How VAT affects charities (VAT Notice 701/1) has general guidance on VAT and charities, including details of certain reliefs.
1.2 Who should read this notice
Palliative care charities, air ambulance charities, search and rescue charities and medical courier charities. For definitions of these charities see paragraph 1.7.
1.3 The law
The legislation covering VAT refunds to qualifying charities can be found in the VATA 1994, ss 33C and 33D.
1.4 The definition of a charity
A charity is defined for tax purposes in FA 2010, Sch 6.
In summary this means that a charity must be:
• based in the UK, Isle of Man, an EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway
• established for charitable purposes only
• registered with