Zero-rating purchases

Products that may be subject of zero-rating the applicable rate of VAT are:

  • Goods and services that are to be used for medical or veterinary research, training, diagnosis or treatment
  • Advertising – recruitment, courses etc
  • Goods and services of disabled persons including goods made or adapted for specific disabled person(s), building alterations etc

Full details should be sought from the Finance Department’s VAT expert.

Zero-rating means that although the product is normally subject to VAT, the institution can seek to remove the VAT liability by completing a zero-rating certificate and claiming relief. The responsibility for zero-rating the purchase rests with the supplier as it must deal with the claim when making its quarterly VAT returns. Therefore, the supplier must be satisfied that institution has met the conditions necessary for it not to charge VAT on the sale and to, later, claim the relief from the Inland Revenue.

To claim this relief, the institution must complete a Zero-rating Certificate declaration. The completed declaration must be signed by an appropriate budget holder, for example, the Principal Investigator for medical and veterinary-based claims. The signature confirms that the items being purchased will be used for purpose stated and the use falls within the definitions required by the VAT legislation.