VAT on antiques or art from historic houses
This notice cancels and replaces Notice 701/12 (January 2002)
1 Assets of historic houses
1.1 Information in this notice
This notice explains what disposals (sales, gifts, reallocations etc.) of assets from historic houses are within the scope of VAT.
1.2 VAT and sales of assets from historic houses
The assets that you sell from a house used as a private residence are not normally business assets and therefore sales of these are outside the scope of VAT. This also applies to house clearance sales.
Main narrative treatment—V3.125, V4.166.
1.3 Historic houses that charge admission
You'll be using the house for business purposes if you charge admission. Where you are VAT-registered (see paragraph 1.6 of this notice) there is a presumption that any assets (like furniture, antiques, works of art) on public display are, for the purposes of VAT, business assets. As such, they will be within the scope of VAT when you dispose of them.
You may, however, choose to treat an asset as a private asset when it is acquired or to take a business asset outside the scope of VAT by reallocating it as a private asset. Further information on this can be found in section 2.
1.4 Assets you freely lend to someone else who charges for admission to their house
The assets are not treated as business assets because you've not used them for business purposes. You do not need to account for VAT on their disposal.
1.5 Charging VAT on all sales of business assets if you're VAT-registered