In our January VAT update, we wrote about the House of Lords judgement in the cases Conde Nast and Fleming, which obliged HMRC to now repay VAT refunds accrued but not claimed for periods before 1996 right the way back to when VAT was introduced in 1973.

HMRC have since confirmed that this relates to underclaimed input tax and overpaid output tax. This represents an opportunity for NHS organisations to submit claims in areas such as private patient drugs (input tax) or cold take-away food (output tax) for these periods.  Other areas are likely to be limited.

Realistically, due to the time lapsed and constant restructuring of the NHS over the years there are several ‘hoops’ to jump through in order to prove that a valid claim exists.  There is however certainly scope for NHS bodies to submit claims and the potential values are likely to be higher for acute Trusts which traditionally have more business income.

This is something that CRS VAT Consulting is doing for all of our clients but we would be happy to hear from other interested NHS bodies with a view to submitting a claim on your behalf.

HMRC accept that any claim will be based upon estimating/extrapolating more recent accounts information.  We have a range of methodologies and practices in place to extract the relevant information and formulate a realistic claim.

All claims need to be lodged with HMRC by the end of March 2009, so please contact us as soon as possible.