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VAT: reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

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VAT: reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

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If you’re a VAT registered business, check if you can temporarily reduce the rate of VAT on supplies relating to hospitality, accommodation, or admission to certain attractions.

Announced at Budget 2021, the temporary reduced rate which applied to tourism and hospitality ended on 31 March 2022.

From 1 April 2022 the normal VAT rules apply, and VAT should be charged at the standard rate.

For accounting purposes, the reduced rate had applied as follows:

  • 5% from 15 July 2020 to 30 September 2021

  • 12.5% from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022

The government made an announcement on 8 July 2020 allowing VAT registered businesses to apply a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT to certain supplies relating to:

  • hospitality
  • hotel and holiday accommodation
  • admissions to certain attractions

The temporary reduced rate will apply to supplies that are made between 15 July 2020 and 31 March 2021.

These changes are being brought in as an urgent response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to support businesses severely affected by forced closures and social distancing measures.

Hospitality

If you supply food and non-alcoholic beverages for consumption on your premises, for example, a restaurant, café or pub, you’re currently required to charge VAT at the standard rate of 20%. However, when you make these supplies between 15 July 2020 and 31 March 2021 you will only need to charge 5%.

You will also be able to charge the reduced rate of VAT on your supplies of hot takeaway food and hot takeaway non-alcoholic drinks.

Hotel and holiday accommodation

You will also benefit from the temporary reduced rate if you:

  • supply sleeping accommodation in a hotel or similar establishment
  • make certain supplies of holiday accommodation
  • charge fees for caravan pitches and associated facilities
  • charge fees for tent pitches or camping facilities

Admission to certain attractions

If you charge a fee for admission to certain attractions where the supplies are currently standard rated, you will only need to charge the reduced rate of VAT between 15 July 2020 and 31 March 2021.

However, if the fee you charge for admission is currently exempt that will take precedence and your supplies will not qualify for the reduced rate.


The Flat Rate Scheme

If you are a small business and use the use the Flat Rate Scheme to simplify your VAT calculations you should be aware that certain percentages have been reduced in line with the introduction of the temporary reduced rate of VAT.

The Tour Operators Margin Scheme

If you are a business that buys in and resells travel, accommodation and certain other services, and you act in your own name, you may operate the Tour Operators Margin Scheme to simplify your calculations.

Accounting for supplies that straddle the temporary reduced rate

In most cases, you will simply account for VAT at 5% for supplies made between 15 July 2020 and 31 March 2021. However, there may be situations where you receive payments or issue invoices before 15 July 2020 for supplies that take place on or after 15 July 2020.

Retail schemes

Catering businesses using retail schemes may have to alter their accounting systems for the period 15 July 2020 to 31 March 2021.

If you have a bespoke retail scheme agreement, you should review it and if you think an alteration is needed, contact your large business Customer Compliance Manager.

Catering businesses operating the catering adaptation

If you have a turnover of between £1 million and £130 million and using a catering adaptation method previously agreed with HMRC you may alter the scheme without prior agreement for the period providing the calculation gives a fair and reasonable result. You must then revert back to your previous scheme.

You should keep the records of how you altered the scheme as part of your business records.

Caterers using the direct calculation scheme

If all your sales are at the reduced rate then the reduced rate will apply to your daily gross takings during the period.

If you have mixed supplies and your till is not programmed to account for different rates then you may adopt the principles of the direct calculation scheme, if appropriate, to the standard rated goods. Otherwise you should make a fair and reasonable apportionment and retain your workings as part of your business records.

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