Governance & Compliance 7: Happy New Year from the VAT Team!

VAT Guides

The Council’s VAT Manual is being replaced with a number of smaller VAT Guides. The VAT Guides cover both general areas and some for specific services. There are a number of Guides which are for schools and all the Guides can be found at: We are happy to receive any feedback on the guides in order to make them as useful to you as possible.

The main Guide we would encourage all schools to look at is the Schools guide to secondments, supplies of staff and supply cover as this is an area we find a number of common VAT errors.

Journals / VAT adjustments

We are a very small team and currently have a member of staff off long term sick so we would kindly request that if you need us to do a journal to correct VAT on expenditure or income, could you please keep a log of these yourself and then forward them to us quarterly or termly to be processed rather than as each one comes up. It would also really help if you could also attach copies of any supporting documents (e.g. invoices where you are claiming VAT) and the full code or codes (GXXX GXXXX XXXX) that the VAT adjustment will be put against. If there is a large transaction to adjust, then please do send that to us as it arises.

Also if you think you’ve been charged VAT on an invoice and shouldn’t have been, or if you were expecting to pay VAT and weren’t charged please contact us. While it is the suppliers responsibility to get the VAT right, we do have a duty of care to HMRC to pick up any obvious errors.


If you buy any goods from Tempest, some of our systems may not allow you to automatically recover VAT on the invoice. If this happens, please pay the whole invoice as VAT code 9, then please add this to your list of VAT adjustments  (including a copy of the invoice and the code you charged it to) and we will recover VAT for you.


While stamps are still Exempt from VAT (code 8), business franking and many other postal services such as special deliveries are vatable even if provided by the Post Office / Royal Mail. It is advisable to always ask for a VAT receipt so that you can reclaim any VAT you have been charged.

If you have a franking machine and frank post for outside organisations or individuals, then you must add VAT to the franking charge.

Insurance Premium Tax

Just a quick reminder that when you pay an insurance premium, the invoice you pay is likely to include Insurance Premium Tax (IPT). This is nothing to do with VAT and therefore cannot be recovered and must be charged to your budget.

Hiring out Theatres

HM Revenue and Custom have recently issued some clarification on the hiring out of theatres.  It states that hiring out of theatres can only be treated as Exempt from VAT (code 8) if all you are doing is letting out the premises and there are no other services are being provided. If however, you are also proving services such as a box office, or lighting technicians, then the whole charge (theatre hire + additional services) will be vatable.

Mealtime assistant recharges

If you provide mealtime assistants to a non-DCC school, or any other external organisation, then VAT must be added to the charge.

Contact us

Our email address is, call us on 01392 382842 (Sarah), or 01392 382410 (Karen – Thurs and Fri only).

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