Decision details

Partial Exemption and Option to Tax

Decision Maker: Assistant Director Finance & S151 Officer

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


To consider opting to tax properties following a review and advice from the council’s VAT consultants




(1)          That a policy of opting to tax council owned properties where VAT reclaimed on spend on these properties would otherwise contribute to the council’s partial exemption calculation be adopted.

Reasons for the decision:

it is recommended that the council opts to tax as many properties as it can to mitigate the risk to partial exemption.  In the future, putting in place an “option to tax” should be the standard approach adopted by the Council unless there is a clear reason not to.


Alternative options considered:

Option 1: Don’t opt to tax – rejected due to risk of breaching 5% de minimis and repaying HMRC reclaimed VAT approx. £300k+


Option 2: Take responsibility for utilities and insurance – rejected due to financial constraints.


Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Reason No Public Access: No

Declarations: None

Subject to Urgent Proceedings: No

Contact: Joanne Kaye, Head of Finance and Deputy Section 151 Officer Email: Tel: 01295 221545, Nicola Gardner, Service Accountant Email: Tel: 01295 221741.

Publication date: 15/09/2023

Date of decision: 14/09/2023

Accompanying Documents: