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HMRC internal manual

VAT Business/Non-Business Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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VAT Business and Non-Business activities: disposal of private assets

The disposal of private assets is a non-business activity. If, however, the goods are sold through a business you will need to look at the circumstances carefully before deciding whether the sale can properly be regarded as being separate from the business. This is demonstrated in Mittu (JS) (VBNB72800).

When considering if a sale is indeed private you should consider the nature of the transaction carefully, in particular:

  • are the goods sold of a type normally sold through the business?
  • was the sale dependent upon the contacts and reputation of the business? and
  • how were the receipts dealt with and accounted for?

The independent disposal of private assets merely to raise funds for a business is non-business. This type of disposal is outside the scope of VAT.