VAT funding for charities providing land-based rapid response vehicles for medical purposes

From April 2015 onwards, UK search and rescue and air ambulance charities have been eligible to recover VAT on goods and services purchased for their non-business activities. Charities providing land based emergency medical rapid response vehicles are not eligible for this VAT refund scheme.

However, in recognition of this position, the Cabinet Office recently announced, in guidance issued on 30 November 2015, that it would be providing a one off grant funding scheme for charities that meet certain specific requirements. In particular, charities that:

  • provide land-based rapid response vehicles for medical purposes in England;
  • have not received funding from other grants and are not already funded for VAT;
  • have paid VAT costs on purchasing and fitting these vehicles in 2015 to 2016.

This one-off funding will assist these charities in contributing towards the costs they have incurred since 1 April 2015 on buying and fitting rapid response land vehicles used for medical purposes.

Any charities that meet the criteria set out in the Cabinet Office guidance should return their completed application documents to ocs.info@cabinetoffice.gov.uk by 5pm Friday 8 January 2016. As this grant is only available to charities in England, charities that provide these vehicles in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland should contact the Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly or the Northern Ireland Assembly, respectively.

If you have any questions, or if you would like to discuss further, please contact our VAT team.

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