As you may be aware – earlier this month HMRC released the final tranche of COS headings (though more guidance is expected to be released on Heading 52 at a later date). Unfortunately, it was not immediately explicit as to the period for which this guidance applies.
It has now been confirmed by HMRC that the guidance can be applied for the current financial year (2015/16). This means that where there have been significant amendments to the guidance, for example the eligibility of ODPs under Heading 41 – you are able to go back and reclaim VAT retrospectively (subject to the normal time limits i.e. claims for the current financial year must be made on the June 2016 VAT return by the very latest).
It is also worth noting, that a further retrospective claim may be possible in cases where HMRC incorrectly advised a specific Trust in relation to a specific matter. For example – if your Trust was advised by HMRC on an assessment visit that Phlebotomists are not eligible for recovery under Heading 41, and as a result you stopped recovering VAT on this area – there is scope for a retrospective claim to recoup this VAT which was not recovered as a direct result of their advice.
In addition – it is possible that where HMRC gave advice to one Trust on a specific matter and that advice was directly applied to another Trust as a result – there may be scope for a retrospective claim. In order for this to be possible, there must be evidence to support that this is the case. Berthold Bauer will of course assist our own clients and non-clients in considering whether this applies to their organisation if required.