VAT Liability

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Most food, except snacks (unless the snack is a biscuit - but then only if it is not partly covered in chocolate!) is zero-rated.

  • Is a transaction liable to VAT?
  • Is it zero-rated?
  • Is it exempt from VAT?

Books and magazines are also zero-rated, unless they are sold along with another item, in which case they might be subject to VAT.  Houseboats and caravans above a certain size are also zero-rated, as is children’s clothing - unless it is also suitable for an older person. Insurance and financial services are exempt from VAT, but not if outsourced - except in specific circumstances. Subscriptions to public interest or professional bodies are also exempt - but, again, only under certain circumstances.

Cultural services such as museums, art galleries, zoos (and theatres, sometimes) are also exempt from VAT - but only if the body is managed on a voluntary basis and is non-profit making. However case law says that, under certain circumstances, there can be profits. Furthermore a manager can, on occasion, have a financial interest.

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