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HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Bodies governed by public law: definition: Article 13 bodies

Examples of bodies that are governed by public law include:

  • government departments
  • agencies of government departments
  • non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs)
  • local government (County Councils to Parish Councils, but not parish meetings)
  • police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • fire authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • national park authorities.

There are specific provisions under the VAT Act 1994 relating to some bodies governed by public law. They primarily refund VAT on goods and services purchased for non-business purposes as follows:

Section 33

Local government, police (see VATGPB5100), fire authorities (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) and national park authorities (England and Wales). See VATGPB4000 for further details of who are accepted as section 33 bodies.

Section 41

Government Departments and their agencies, and NHS bodies, but not Non-Departmental Public Bodies other than Crown NDPBs (see VATGPB9300).

Section 99

The Government of Northern Ireland (see VATGPB9350).