More details on hospitality VAT reduction
When the Chancellor announced a temporary cut in the rate of VAT for the hospitality sector and attractions in his Summer Statement on 8 July there were a number of areas that needed clarification. The reduction applies to supplies made between 15 July 2020 and 12 January 2021. HMRC have now set out more details of which supplies will attract the 5% temporary rate as well as the impact on invoicing, deposits, and the flat rate scheme.
WHAT DOES THE 5% TEMPORARY VAT RATE APPLY TO?
The temporary 5% rate applies to the following supplies, but is not an exhaustive list:
- Catering, including hot takeaway food
- Accommodation in hotels, guest houses, and similar places
- Tourist attractions such as theme parks, zoos, theatres and cinemas
Note that as far as catering is concerned, the 5% rate only applies to food and non-alcoholic drinks. The 20% rate continues to apply to alcoholic drinks.
Please contact us if you are unsure as to whether the 5% rate applies to any of your supplies.
VAT TREATMENT OF DEPOSITS
It is fairly common, particularly in the summer holidays, to pay a deposit when booking a hotel or self-catering accommodation but how should the deposit be accounted for?
HMRC have confirmed that the hotel has the option of charging VAT according to the ‘basic tax point’ (dates of the stay) rather than the ‘actual tax point’ (invoice/payment dates).
For example, where the customer paid a non-refundable £300 deposit in February 2020 for a £1000 holiday in Cornwall in August, using the actual tax point, the hotel would account for 20% VAT on the deposit received in February 2020 and 5% on the balance payable after 15 July 2020. The hotel could choose to use the basic tax point rule which would mean that the 5% rate would apply to the entire cost of the stay and make an adjustment for the VAT already accounted for.
Please contact us if you need advice on dealing with the invoicing or accounting for such transactions.
INTERACTION WITH VAT FLAT RATE SCHEME
Small businesses with turnover below £150,000 may join the VAT flat rate scheme which makes their VAT accounting much simpler as they merely pay HMRC a percentage of their VAT inclusive turnover.
The temporary reduction in the rate of VAT from 20% to 5% reduces the flat rate percentages for affected businesses as set out below:
|Type of Business||15 July 20 to 12 Jan 2021||From 13 January 2021|
|Catering services including restaurants and takeaways||4.5||12.5|
|Hotel or accommodation||0||10.5|
Note that to use the flat rate percentage for pubs the turnover must be predominantly “wet sales”.
SECOND HOME BUYERS AND BUY-TO-LET LANDLORDS WELCOME SDLT CUT
Although the temporary increase in the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) threshold to £500,000 was aimed at those buying their main residence, it also benefits those buying a second or subsequent property where there is a 3% supplementary charge. Thus, the rate of SDLT on a second home costing up to £500,000 is now 3%. Previously, the rate was 3% up to £125,000, then 5% up to £250,000, and then 8% up to £825,000. So the SDLT on a second home costing £400,000 is now £12,000 compared to £22,000 if the purchase had completed before 8 July 2020.
Note that there are different thresholds and rates of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax for properties located in Scotland and Wales.
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