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New all-embracing stable livery VAT rules announced

12 December 2011

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The cost of owning and training a horse for a wide range of purposes has increased with HMRC making various livery services subject to VAT.

An amended notice from the taxman on Animal Food includes confirmation that the supply of livery services by professional yards will in future attract the standard 20% VAT rating.

The change, which was predicted by accountants and business advisers James Cowper Kreston in August, is expected to be far-reaching.
Ruth Corkin, VAT Manager at James Cowper Kreston explained:

“Stable livery packages were previously exempt from VAT in some circumstances but the notice explains that standard rating applies to livery packages provided by special purpose stables such as race horse trainers, stud farms and stables involved in schooling horses or breaking them in.”

Ruth added:  “It seems certain that the new arrangements will also affect polo, cross country, show-jumping, carriage racing, eventing and dressage yards, although HMRC does not mention them specifically.”

James Cowper Kreston recommends that anyone who thinks they might be affected seeks advice from their accountant or tax adviser.

Ruth Corkin, Head of VAT Services, James Cowper Kreston LLP, Tel +44 (0)1865 861166 or email