Letter: Added service

Your article on Mountain Rescue Services having to pay VAT (28 December) raises interesting points. Rather than campaign for an exemption with all the foot-dragging political delay, perhaps these services could register to reclaim all VAT on purchases.

On reading the HMRC guidelines, it seems that the service could be considered acceptable under more than one category. It would appear that they are "an association" and "provide certain other activities as a club or other recreational body".

To ensure that they cannot be seen to be only selling tax-exempt services, the sale of fundraising items such as pens, coasters, etc which are not VAT exempt would make sure that there was some element of business and they could charge all members a subscription of 1p per annum. There would of course be some administration, including making returns online to HMRC every three months. Since these returns contain less than ten entries they are not onerous. It would mean that the problems of European Union VAT law would not involved.



Gairloch, Wester Ross