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Read our updated guide to the extended temporary VAT reduction rate for the UK hospitality and tourism industry

Understand the temporary VAT cut, the new extension date, who it affects, and what to do next.

Why has the VAT rate been temporarily changed for some businesses?

Lockdown conditions were enforced to help slow the global and national spread of coronavirus COVID-19. Unfortunately for businesses reliant on social contact, such as the property and hospitality sectors, this meant significant disruption.

To help them recover, the government are introducing a series of measures of part of their COVID-19 economic recovery plan.

How much is the temporary reduction in VAT?

The changes mean a temporary reduction in the standard rate of VAT, from 20% to 5%, for some businesses.

When does the temporary VAT rate start and end?

The temporary VAT rate reduction took effect from 15th July 2020. It was originally planned to end on 12th January 2021. The temporary reduction has been extended, and will now stay in place until 31st March 2021 for eligible businesses. 

The temporary VAT rate cut changes and dates
Temporary VAT reduction from 20% to 5% starts 15th July 2020
Temporary VAT reduction ends (VAT rate returns to normal rate) 31st March 2021

comprehensive vat returns service

Does the temporary VAT rate cut affect the VAT Flat Rate Scheme?

Yes, it does. The temporary changes mean that some rates covered by the VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) have changed. This enables VAT FRS users to benefit from the temporary reduction in the standard VAT rate as well.

HMRC will update the list of VAT flat rates to show the temporary cut.

Who does the temporary change in VAT affect?

The VAT cut affects VAT registered businesses in certain sectors, and their customers. The government describe it as being for the benefit of:

“Organisations that make supplies of hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admission to certain attractions, and their advisers.”

If you’re VAT registered, and normally charge VAT at the standard rate on the items below this applies to you. If you ‘make a supply’ of the items listed below between 15th July 2020 and 31st March 2021, then you should charge VAT at 5% 

Check the HMRC website for more information about the temporary VAT rate for certain items.

Visit our COVID-19 Business Support Hub to learn more about help available for businesses affected by coronavirus. To talk to an advisor about our online accounting services for VAT call 020 3355 4047, use the Live Chat button on screen, or ask for a callback.

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible.

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