VAT windfall for animal charities

Animal refuge charities will be able to claim back hundreds of thousands of pounds from government after a tribunal ruling that will make the sale of stray dogs and cats exempt from VAT.

Charities do not have to charge VAT when selling donated items. Until now, animals were considered donations only if they were directly handed over by their owners, meaning sales of strays incurred VAT.

The case, brought successfully by Plymouth-based Gables Farm Dogs' and Cats' Home, invoked the common-law principle of 'finders keepers' to confer ownership on people who find strays and give them to a rehoming centre. Many charities will now be able to make retrospective VAT claims on sales of strays.

"It's a remarkable coup for a small home," said Tony Harris, general manager at Gables Farm. "The judgement will benefit charities around the country."

Gales Farm is owed £20,000 in backdated claims. The Dogs Trust estimates that it is owed £100,000.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus