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HMRC internal manual

VAT Construction

Relevant charitable purpose concession (pre-1 July 2010 only): treatment of mixed use areas

In buildings that contained a mixture of qualifying and non-qualifying parts there would be areas that served both of these functions, such as entrance halls. As these areas were never put solely to a relevant charitable use they were classed as being used for non-qualifying purposes.

If the floor space method was being considered, these mixed-use areas were included as part of the total floor space but excluded from the area of floor space that was intended for use solely for a qualifying purpose.

Sometimes access to a non-qualifying area in an otherwise qualifying building was, by an accident of geography, through a qualifying area such as:

  • the aisles of churches which were used as an access route to a business area, such as a book shop
  • galleries in a museum through which the visitor would go to access a cafe.

Such qualifying areas didn’t need to be classed as mixed (non-qualifying) use simply because people had to walk through them to get to a non-qualifying area.