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?