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Beautifying Your Business Premises? You Could Qualify for a VAT Rebate

HarbourCompanies which install statues, fountains and other attractive monuments in order to beautify their business premises will in many cases be able to reclaim VAT on the costs involved following a decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT).

A company engaged in the redevelopment of a harbour had sought to recover input tax and interest, totalling more than £90,000, in respect of the installation of an elaborate fountain. However, HM Revenue and Customs took the view that the expenditure on the fountain had not been incurred for a business purpose.

In allowing the company’s appeal, and awarding it the rebate, the FTT accepted that the fountain was an intrinsic part of its overall strategy to revitalise the seafront area. It served as a striking ‘front door’ to the development, was seen as a vital part of its ‘branding’ and connected it with the neighbouring town centre.