‘Limp and flimsy’ Body cuts VAT bill

An award-winning museum has won its battle to stop charging VAT on part of its entrance fee, after proving an innovative guide was a zero-rated leaflet, rather than standard-rated worksheet.

At a recent Leeds VAT tribunal, Deloitte & Touche won the case for Eureka!, the Halifax children’s museum (above), after it argued the instructive guide, ‘Me and My Body’ was ‘limp and flimsy’ and thus VAT-exempt.

A spokesman for Deloittes’ Leeds office said the guide’s price, which amounted to 11p of the average #4.95 entrance fee, meant that Customs & Excise, which said it did not plan to appeal, would have to pay back #7,800 from last year. He added: ‘For the coming year it will have to pay the same kind of figure.’

A museum official said the guide allowed its 360,000 annual visitors to take part in interactive activities. He said: ‘Visitors’ physical features are input into a computer, and they find out how many other visitors have the same characteristics.’ The museum won the 1994 national Visitor Attraction of the Year.

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