Colleges set to recover prospectus VAT

The tribunal ruled West Herts College in Watford could recover the VAT paid on the design and production of the college prospectuses opening the way for educational institutions around the country to do the same.

John Kennedy, Deloitte & Touche VAT partner, which advised the college on the case, said: ‘The decision is a great success for the college and may well be of assistance to other colleges and universities in a similar position.’I am sure other institutions will be considering the outcome of this case.’

Customs argued in the tribunal that the prospectuses ‘merely advertised the educational courses of the college’ and were therefore ineligible for recovery of VAT.

However the tribunal held that special rules on gifts applied. The prospectuses as ‘books, brochures etc,’ were VAT free and there VAT on design and production could be recovered.

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