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VAT on self-storage services ‘clarified’

HMRC’s latest guidance on VAT on self-storage provides little insight on the borderline issues where guidance is needed most.

In August 2013 HMRC issued VAT Information Sheet (VIS) 10/13 entitled VAT: provision of storage facilities. This replaced the VIS of a year before – 14/12 entitled VAT: self storage.

Paragraph 1.4 of the new VIS posits the question why a replacement VIS is needed. HMRC says that ‘we have been working with trade sector representatives to address their concerns that the impact of the changes has not been fully understood’. Not fully understood by whom one wonders. As I will illustrate that might include HMRC themselves.

The first unsatisfactory aspect appears in section 1.1 which says that ‘this information sheet replaces VAT Information Sheet...

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