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VAT on Advertising by Registered Charity

On behalf of a registered charity, I've placed an advert today in our local advertising magazine,  The advert is of course to do with the charity's charitable work.  As usual, I quoted the Registered Charity No. and asked for the advert to be zero-rated.  The magazine said no, they now need our 'VAT Exemption No.'.  This is a new one on me.  For one thing, it's zero-rated, not exempt.  For another, this seems to be unknown to HMRC.  I've checked the latest issue of VAT Notice 701/58 online, and it makes no mention of it.  It simply says that the supplier can ask us for a written declaration that the services qualify for zero-rating, and gives a pro-forma declaration.  Another part of the HMRC site advises the supplier to obtain: 

The Charity No. (in the case of a registered charity) OR

Evidence that HMRC recognise it as a charity (in the case of a non-registered charity)

I take this to mean that our HMRC reference for our Gift Aid Income Tax repayments would do if we weren't a registered charity.

Has anybody heard of a 'VAT Exemption Number' for charities?

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No such thing

There isn't an exemption number and what you have read is correct - advertising is Zero rated and the supplier can request a written declaration. Just go back and speak to someone else is the best bet.

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