Claiming input VAT on expenses paid by sub-contractors
My client hires several sub-contractors to go out and buy products for the business which it then sells. The sub-contractors are self employed and are not registered for VAT.
The sub-contractors use their own debit/ credit cards to pay for the items and get a VAT receipt. The client then reimburses the sub-contractors based on these receipts. My question is whether we can claim the input VAT on the receipts provided by the sub-contractors?
I understand that if an employee incurs any VAT cost, that can be recovered by the employer as the employee is acting as an agent. I believe the sub-contractor is also acting as an agent and that the items are being used in the main business of the company and therefore theoretically should be able to recover the input VAT .
I would welcome any comments and suggestions.