If your business supplies some goods or services which carry VAT, and other items which are exempt from VAT (such as charitable events and financing), the business is likely to be partly-exempt for VAT purposes. Being partly-exempt means you may not be able to reclaim all of the VAT on your purchases (input VAT).
Where the input VAT that relates to your exempt sales is no more than £625 per month, and it is also less than half of your total input VAT, you can reclaim all of the input VAT. In other cases you can only reclaim the input VAT which relates to the supplies that carry VAT. There are various methods to apportion input-VAT which can be agreed individually with HMRC, or you can use the standard method.
Whichever method you use to allocate input VAT, this should be reviewed at least once a year, to see if it still gives the best outcome for your business. We can help you with this.
If you pay VAT on road fuel used for private journeys, based on the road fuel scale charges published by HMRC, you need to be aware that the concession for partly-exempt businesses is withdrawn from 1 January 2014. Under this concession the business is permitted to reduce the output VAT due on the road fuel scale charges in line with its partial-exempt position. If you have been using this concession we definitely need to review the methods you use to apportion input VAT from 1 January 2014.