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Readers' forum : Save the rhino

15 May 2018
Issue: 4647 / Categories: Forum & Feedback

VAT liability of rhino hire at charity event run by commercial zoo.

My son works at a commercial zoo and was recently involved in a fundraising day for a rhino conservation charity. At one of the events people could pay £15 to meet a rhino. The money was banked into a special account in the name of the zoo for its non-trading activities and a cheque made payable to the charity based on the total amount received during the day less costs.

The accountant acting for the zoo has said that one-sixth of the money received from the activity is subject to VAT because the zoo owns the animal and has hired her out for a consideration.

But would the receipts be covered by the VAT fundraising exemption available to charities? Or could the payments not be treated as directly relevant to the charity and therefore be outside the scope of the zoo’s VAT return issues?

Query 19 166...

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