Fleet News

Charity wins £10m tribunal

HELP the Aged has won a £10 million VAT tribunal for the charity sector concerning minibuses converted to carry wheelchairs. The case arose after a 1994 ruling which meant specially adapted minibuses for older people became liable for VAT - previously they had been zero rated. This VAT added about £3,000 to the price of each minibus.

The ruling should save Help the Aged £250,000 a year, and it has also secured a back payment of £167,000 from Customs & Excise for VAT paid on minibuses over the past two years.

Other local community organisations could save as much as £10 million per year because of the ruling, which broadened the definitions of 'care' and 'handicapped' to include people with mobility needs. Previously, specially adapted transport only received VAT relief if an older person had a chronically disabling condition; this has now been extended to those with impaired mobility.

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