UK VAT exemptions and reliefs for shared research services and infrastructure

Buried deep in the small print of today’s UK government budget were confirmation of a couple of important measures for universities and research centres developing shared infrastructure and services:

2.191 VAT: cost sharing – Following the announcement at Autumn Statement 2011 the
Government will introduce a VAT exemption for services shared between VAT exempt bodies
including charities and universities. (Finance Bill 2012) (h)

2.184 VAT: relief for European Research Infrastructure Consortia – As announced at
Budget 2011, the Government will introduce secondary legislation in autumn 2012 to provide
VAT relief to European Research Infrastructure Consortia.

UK VAT is levied at 20% so these exemptions and reliefs are potentially very important for those developing shared research infrastructure and services. Currently, initiatives seeking to leverage economies of scale between institutions can face a barrier of an additional  20% surcharge for VAT.

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