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Introduction to VAT for local councils


This session, for clerks, finance staff and councillors who wish to develop their knowledge, explains how VAT affects local councils.

Essential for any council contemplating major building projects.

Topics include:

  • How VAT law applies to local councils
  • Where to find the law and guidance
  • Business and non-business activities
  • Understanding whether sales are taxable or exempt from VAT
  • When a council must register for VAT
  • When VAT can be reclaimed
  • Partial exemption
  • Reclaiming VAT when using grants and donations

By the end of this session you will:

  • Know where to find the relevant legislation and guidance
  • Understand the key concepts of VAT
  • Know when a council can or can’t reclaim VAT
  • Recognise when a council must register for VAT
  • Be aware of activities that require special attention

Session leader:

Steve Parkinson, The Parkinson Partnership LLP
Steve is a former Town Clerk & an accountant with 30 years’ experience in public sector finance, who specialises in advice & training for the local council sector.


This is an interactive session, you will need a device with a reasonable screen size such as a PC, laptop or tablet to be able to participate fully.

Please click on the file below to download the above information.