Rescue and hospice charities boosted by VAT rebate plan

Picture by Chris Bull for St Catherine's Hospicewww.chrisbullphotographer.com''St Catherine's Hospice Lostock Hall

Picture by Chris Bull for St Catherine's Hospicewww.chrisbullphotographer.com''St Catherine's Hospice Lostock Hall

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Charity bosses hope a VAT rebate announced in the Autumn Statement will enable them to plough more funding in to their work.

The chancellor announced that there would be a rebate to cover VAT costs for hospices, search and rescue charities and air ambulance on certain supplies and services.

From April, the organisations will be able to claim refunds on VAT on goods and services for their non-business activities.

Sue Clempson Director of Finance and Technical Services at St Catherine’s Hospice in Lostock Hall, near Preston, said the charity is only VAT exempt on goods and services which are directly linked to patient care, rather than to the general running of the charity and hospice.

This situation is different to NHS providers, who can claim back VAT on many other supplies and services, such as catering and laundry supplies.

Sue said: “We are very pleased to hear the Chancellor announce these plans in the Autumn Statement and look forward to hearing more details on how the proposals would work. Our umbrella charity Hospice UK – working with Sue Ryder and the Charity Tax Group – has been calling for these measures since 2011, in a bid to put local hospices on a fairer footing with other palliative care providers.

“We hope these plans will help St Catherine’s to raise the £5m we need to be able to be able to deliver our services for local people facing life-shortening illness.”

Fiona Morris, Interim Chief Executive at the North West Air Ambulance Charity, added: “As a charity reliant on donations, this will have a positive impact, as the refunds will strengthen our financial position.”