VAT changes come into force

Changes to VAT arrangements, originally announced in the March 2012 Budget, take effect from 1 October.

The changes, which are designed to tackle anomalies within the VAT regime, apply to hot food and premises; sports nutrition drinks, listed buildings; hairdressers’ chairs and self-storage. Anti-forestalling measures also take effect from 1 October in relation to the listed building and self storage changes.

New VAT arrangements relating to holiday caravans, also announced in the March Budget, will take effect from 6 April 2013.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has issued guidance sheets on each of the areas where changes will be introduced.

The changes are addressing inconsistencies and loopholes in the VAT system by:

  • applying VAT to approved alterations to listed buildings to bring them into line with the VAT treatment of alterations to non-listed buildings, and repairs and maintenance for all buildings
  • providing consistency of treatment between self-storage and other forms of storage
  • applying VAT, in the minority of cases where it does not already apply, to hot food and to sports drinks
  • putting beyond doubt the fact that VAT applies to the rental of hairdressers’ chairs and the sale of cold food for consumption on the supplier’s premises (even if those premises are shared with other suppliers) and
  • ensuring that the purchase of holiday caravans is taxed consistently at the standard rate.

Link: HMRC guidance