Nelson Events and IACF have announced that they will start charging reduced rate VAT on stands at their fairs from October 1. In a letter to ATG this week, they explain why they have been forced into this move, albeit reluctantly.
The news follows ATG's previous reports
regarding a new interpretation of
VAT rules by HMRC. HRMC have declared that, from last November,
the supply of space at fairs (antiques & collectors, craft,
vintage, art deco etc) should be subject to VAT, effectively
putting the cost of the stallholders pitch up by 20%.
The letter sates that: "Following a meeting
with both legal counsel and our VAT advisors, both Nelson Events
and IACF, believe that we have a strong case to defend. We are in
the process of combining our efforts to hold a single tribunal and
obtain a ruling on the validity of the new VAT rules. However, this
process will probably take 12 months before we get a final
Although they have to account for VAT on
pitch sales from last November, they say it would be unfair to ask
stallholders to pay VAT charges on past events and will therefore
pay this fee on their behalf.
The letter continues: "However, after much
discussion, debate and professional advice, both Nelson Events and
IACF have taken the decision to start accounting for VAT from
October 1, 2013, which means that, reluctantly, we do have to pass
on an increase to dealers. We have decided to share some of this
extra cost, which means we are limiting the increase to just 12.5%
and not the full 20%.
"In the event that we win our fight, every
effort will be made to credit anything paid by way of this
additional charge back to our customers.
The increase will apply to all new
stallholder bookings taken on or after October 1 and also to any
existing bookings unpaid at close of business on September 30.
Public and trade entry prices will not ne affected, as VAT is
The letter also calls on organisers,
stallholders and visitors to work together to put pressure on HMRC
and the Government to halt their plans to implement this new
approach to VAT. They have set up a petition website, www.saveourfairs.co.uk, to not only explain the
issues in more detail, but to also collect signatures, which they
will then pass on to HMRC, MPs and Government ministers.
They have also produced a leaflet that will
be distributed at fairs. Those that would like to help distribute
the leaflet should email email@example.com. Updates about the
campaign will be posted on twitter at @SaveOurFairs
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.