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HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Introduction: HMRC contacts

VAT Supply Team

The team with overall responsibility for this manual is VAT Supply Team.

Government Accounting and Barristers Team

Unregistered bodies that are entitled to refunds under section 33 (see VATGPB4000) make claims by sending a completed form VAT 126 to the Government Accounting and Barristers (GABS) Team in Southend. Claims can also be made on plain paper. The GABS team, who are based within the Debt Management and Banking Team (DMB), liaise with the Public Bodies Unit of Expertise to verify these claims.

Public Bodies Unit of Expertise


The Unit of Expertise (UoE) provides advice on VAT technical policy and operational practice as it applies to Local Authorities, Police Authorities and Fire Authorities.

The UoE maintains a telephone and e-mail helpdesk for HMRC compliance, policy and VAT written & telephone enquiry colleagues. The UoE also publishes the monthly ‘Public Bodies Group Newsflash’ covering indirect & direct tax issues covered by the Public Bodies Group.

Their contact details are:

Public Bodies Unit of Expertise
11th Floor West
Euston Tower
286 Euston Road
London NW1 3UQ

E-mail: Public Authorities Unit of Expertise, London (LocalCOMP I&PB Public Bodies)

They also have an intranet site

The UoE works closely with the GABS Team and also external bodies representing town & parish councils such as:

  • the National Association of Local Councils (NALC)
  • the Society of Local Council Clerks(SLCC), and
  • Action for Communities in Rural England (ACRE).

Contacting the UoE

HMRC colleagues should first consult relevant notices and manuals before contacting the UoE.

Also, if the question involves liability, they should consider if the activity is business or non-business. If it is clearly business then, although a Local Authority is involved, it may be more appropriate to contact another UoE or VAT Advisory Team. Complex questions should be put to the UoE by e-mail rather than by telephone. This should set out the supplies involved, the questions arising, the guidance consulted together with your conclusions.

Submissions which may need to go forward to VAT Advisory Team should be sent via Electronic Folder (EF) with a completed technical submission form

form to either Andrew Clancy or Alan Mckay at EF Location Code 110.

VAT 126 claims for refunds

The UoE has responsibility for vetting VAT claims submitted by unregistered bodies using the VAT 126 Claim Form. They agree parameters with the GABS team and some claim forms are referred to them before repayment is made. The UoE will initially try to resolve queries in correspondence with the claimants, but occasionally may have to request a local sift team to make a verification visit. For further information about VAT 126 verification see VATGPB4850.