PROCUREMENT

Historically VAT was always seen as the responsibility of the Finance Department and VAT reclaim was largely a reactive process – using invoices and orders to determine eligibility.

The recent amendments to the Contracted Out Services rules, and the subsequent restriction of recovery has meant a pro-active approach is required.

An example would be the nuance on recovery of a contract being viewed as a Single Supply or a Mixed Supply – does this preclude VAT reclaim on maintenance and support?

VAT must become a consideration for the budget holder or Procurement Department when placing orders

  • Can the order be structured in a more VAT efficient manner?
  • Have I correctly allowed for VAT reclaim – have I correctly allowed for the VAT burden?

Managed Service Contracts (MSC’s) & Managed Equipment Contracts (MES’s)

There is a myth (largely dispensed by suppliers) that MSC’s & MES’s are eligible in full for VAT recovery. Whilst Heading 45 ‘Operation of Hospitals…’ permits VAT recovery on this type of contract it is intended to apply to fully outsourced departments. A supply of equipment thinly wrapped in a service contract is unlikely to suffice.

We then have the unpleasant situation where a Contract is structured as a single supply of services, yet fails the eligibility tests (Note : tests being plural) for being managed – nor by virtue of it being a single supply can the normally eligible maintenance costs be reclaimed.

Avoidable Pitfalls • Common misuse of terminology

  • Supply is mixed not single (or composite)
  • Goods are seen as separable
  • Marketed by Supplier as “VAT Recoverable” – not tested or questioned by Trust
  • Lease thinly wrapped in maintenance not sufficient
  • The relevant heading is currently under discussion by HMRC and subject to change – risk that changes not communicated to key stakeholders
  • Some areas / supplies are specifically ‘blocked’ from VAT reclaim – Boiler-house schemes & CHP

We can work with your Procurement Department to ensure that VAT is forecasted correctly – and where appropriate contracts are truthfully structured to meet HMRC’s hallmark tests.

FREE VAT HELPLINE

You can contact our Free VAT Helpline 24 hours a day using the online form or email help@bbvat.co.uk

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Berthold BauerProcurement