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VAT on focus group costs - reclaimable?

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If we are running a focus group or test screening at which we have provided refreshments (i.e. drinks and snacks) does that have to count as client entertaining as they are third parties or is there still scope to reclaim any costs in relation to the overall costs of the event/meeting?

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By paul.benny
17th Sep 2019 11:50

VIT43400 discusses this kind of scenario

There are times when it looks as if a business is providing free hospitality but it can claim input tax. In general this applies where:
•the business provides the hospitality as part of an onward taxable supply;
•the business has to provide hospitality.

Hospitality to focus group attendees forms part of an onward taxable supply - the client will be billed for a report. On this basis, I conclude that the input tax should be recoverable.

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