The Department of Health and Social Care will make £100,000 of funds available to accident and rescue charities, like Suffolk Accident Rescue Service (SARS) to meet the costs of normally irrecoverable VAT on goods and services.
The scheme, which will come into force this week, was incorporated in the 2017 Autumn Budget after MP Jo Churchill and SARS Trustee, Harry Richardson made the case to HM Treasury officials.
Previously, VAT exemption did not extend to the purchase of rapid response vehicles unlike ambulances or vehicles used to transport the elderly.
For small charitable organisations operating alongside emergency services, this meant paying greater upfront costs to purchase vehicles essential to the service.
Now, the grant scheme will reimburse eligible accident rescue charities for the value of VAT incurred on purchases of goods and services they do not normally qualify for VAT relief.
Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds: “This small yet significant change will make a real difference in supporting accident rescue charities like SARS, to continue their incredible work. I am thrilled we were able to secure this vital change.
Harold Richardson, Trustee of SARS: “We are delighted that the government have taken this important step in recognising the enormous value of accident rescue charities such as SARS.
There is always more to be done, and we want to ensure more people can benefit from the unique help that we provide.
But none of this would have been achieved without Jo’s help in leading this campaign in parliament. We are hugely grateful to her for speaking up on our behalf and for helping to secure this grant.”
2017 Autumn Budget, HM Treasury, page 39
“3.63 Access to VAT refunds – The government will make the following changes to VAT refunds:
• Combined Authorities – Through Finance Bill 2017-18, legislation will be amended to ensure UK Combined Authorities and certain fire services in England and Wales will be eligible for VAT refunds.
• Accident Rescue Charities Grant Scheme – A grant will be provided to help accident rescue charities meet the cost of normally irrecoverable VAT.”