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Revenue and Customs Brief 10 (2020) Guidance on the temporary reduced rate of VAT


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Published 9 July 2020

Guidance on the temporary reduced rate of VAT for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

Purpose of this brief

This brief explains the changes in the VAT treatment of certain supplies of hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admission to certain attractions announced by the government on 8 July 2020. The changes take effect from 15 July 2020.

Who it applies to

Organisations that make supplies of hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation and admission to certain attractions, and their advisers.


On 8 July 2020, the government announced that it would introduce a temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT for certain supplies of hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodation, and admissions to certain attractions.

This cut in the VAT rate from the standard rate of 20% will have effect from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021.

These changes are being brought in as an urgent response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic to support businesses severely affected by forced closures and social distancing measures.

Affected supplies

The following supplies will benefit from the temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT:

  • food and non-alcoholic beverages sold for on-premises consumption, for example, in restaurants, cafes and pubs
  • hot takeaway food and hot takeaway non-alcoholic beverages
  • sleeping accommodation in hotels or similar establishments, holiday accommodation, pitch fees for caravans and tents, and associated facilities
  • admissions to the following attractions that are not already eligible for the cultural VAT exemption such as:
    • theatres
    • circuses
    • fairs
    • amusement parks
    • concerts
    • museums
    • zoos
    • cinemas
    • exhibitions
    • similar cultural events and facilities

Where admission to these attractions is covered by the existing cultural exemption, the exemption will take precedence.

More information

More information about issues relating to the temporary reduced rate can be found in

More information on supplies of food and drink can be found at

You can also find more information on the provision of sleeping accommodation in hotels and holiday accommodation at

More information on the admission to attractions can be found at

If you have any questions about these changes please refer to VAT: general enquiries for further advice -

About the Author

© Crown Copyright 2020.

A licence is needed to reproduce this article and has been republished for educational / informational purposes only. Article reproduced by permission of HM Revenue & Customs.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2020-07-09 17:15:11 in Tax Articles

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