HM Revenue and Customs Brief 14/08
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Issued 4 March 2008
Animal rescue charities - VAT liability of the sale of abandoned dogs and
This brief explains the VAT liability of the sale of abandoned animals by a
charity following the Tribunal decision in the case of Gables Farm Dogs and Cats
Gables Farm Dogs and Cats Home is a charity that rescues lost, unwanted and
homeless cats and dogs many of which are subsequently sold to new owners. It
receives unwanted cats and dogs from owners as well as strays and abandoned
animals given by local authority dog wardens, the police, and members of the
Subject to certain conditions the sale of donated goods by a charity is
zero-rated and HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) view was that only animals given to
the home by their original owners could be regarded as 'donated' within the
terms of the legislation.
The Tribunal found that the charity took steps to return genuinely lost
animals to their owners and those it offered for re-homing had been deliberately
abandoned. In these circumstances the animals given to the charity by the local
authority, the police and members of the public were donated and therefore
zero-rated when sold.
HMRC policy following Gables Farm Dogs and Cats Home
HMRC is not appealing the Tribunalís decision and accepts that charities
selling animals in similar circumstances should zero-rate their supplies.
Making claims for past sales
Charities that have accounted for and paid VAT on sales of animals that are
now considered to be zero-rated may submit claims for overpaid tax to their
Local Business Advice Centre. All claims are subject to the relevant time limits
and unjust enrichment provisions.
More information about making claims can be found in VAT Notice 700/45 How to
correct VAT errors or make adjustments or claims and Business Brief 28/04.
For further information and advice, please contact our Charities Helpline on
0845 302 0203.
About the Author
© Crown Copyright 2008.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-03-24 03:40:51 in Tax Articles