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HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

Government departments and health authorities: Contracted Out Services (COS) Headings: COS Heading 57 - Recruitment and relocation of staff and other related services

This Heading allows recovery on recruitment and relocation of staff and other related services.



  • Security vetting checks undertaken on employees including Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks
  • Staff relocation expenses where the department commissions the removal company
  • Staff recruitment advertising commissioned via a recruitment agency
  • Civil Service Resourcing
  • If you use an agency to arrange for the recruitment of staff, the VAT would be refundable under this heading.  This would include services provided as part of a recruitment drive
  • You may incur VAT, which would be eligible for a refund under this category, if, for example, you were to open a new hospital or move to a new building and used a private company to deal with the relocation of the staff



  • VAT incurred on removal firms hired by staff
  • Placing recruitment adverts in a newspaper or on internet recruitment websites


Additional information

VAT incurred in respect of the recruitment of canteen staff, for example, would only be eligible for a refund under these provisions to the extent that it relates to the supply of catering for NHS in-patients as part of the provision of NHS Health care.