Reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and leisure

October 24th, 2020

The hospitality and leisure industries have been severely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. To help businesses in these sectors to get back on their feet, a reduced rate of VAT of 5% rather than the standard rate of 20% will apply to certain supplies for a limited period, from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021.

Hospitality

Food and drink supplied for consumption in the premises, for example by a restaurant or a bar, and hot takeaway food and beverages are normally liable for VAT at the standard rate of 20%. During the support period, the 5% rate will apply instead to:

Hotel and holiday accommodation

For businesses supplying hotel and holiday accommodation, the 5% rate VAT applies during the support period to:

Meals provided to guests in long-term holiday accommodation (more than 28 days) will also benefit from the reduced rate, but the hire of motor caravans will not.

Admission to attractions

The reduced rate of 5% also applies during the support period in respect of admission to certain attractions which would normally be liable for VAT at the standard rate. However, if the admission fee is exempt from VAT, this will take precedence over the 5% charge and the admission charge will remain exempt.

The temporary reduction will apply to admissions to shows, theatre, circuses, fairs, amusement parks, concerts, museums, zoos, cinemas, exhibitions and similar cultural events where these are not included in the existing cultural exemption.

Impact on flat rate scheme

VAT registered businesses using the flat rate scheme should note that some of the flat rate percentages have been reduced to take account of the temporary reduction in the rate of VAT.