VAT information

Guide to Vat changes from 1st Jan 2010

The VAT Section of Finance provides advice on VAT liability issues that affect the University. It also submits various statistical returns to HM Revenue and Customs and prepares the University's quarterly VAT Return.

The main responsibilities of the VAT Section include:

VAT Liability

The University is a complex organisation for VAT liability purposes; it also has a broad range of diverse activities and the application of VAT legislation to specific situations as they arise at the University can be difficult. Both the passing of new legislation and Customs re-interpretation of current legislation can result in the liability of a particular supply changing over time. Also, new activities which initially appear to be similar to ones previously undertaken, may on further investigation differ in some aspect which then results in their having quite different VAT liabilities. When determining the correct VAT liability of a supply, the particular circumstances in which that activity takes place must always be examined. For example, what is the exact nature of the supply and who is it being supplied to, is it a single supply or part of a mixed supply and where and when is it being supplied? Some transactions do not, of course, constitute payment for any supply and are 'outside the scope' of VAT. 'Outside the scope' transactions include the receipt of freely given, no-strings attached donations and the award of research and other grants.

Supplier departments are responsible for correctly accounting for VAT whenever charges are made for the goods or services they provide. VAT guidance notes are issued periodically by the Finance Directorate and these should be retained for reference purposes. However, should you have any doubt about the VAT liability of a supply or wish to discuss the liability of your purchases or indeed have any other query concerning VAT, please do not hesitate to contact the VAT Section for further advice.

Contact Details

Tina Bleasdale, Financial Accounting Team Leader, B Floor, University House, LA1 4YW

Phone No: 01524 594477

Fax No: 01524 843087


Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information in these pages, Finance wishes to emphasise that the contents contained are regularly reviewed and are naturally subject to change from time to time as required. It is the responsibility of the user/reader to check the accuracy of relevant facts with the appropriate department before entering any financial or other commitment based upon them.


Lancaster University
LancasterLA1 4YW United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1524 65201