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HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

Section 33 bodies: refund arrangements: introduction

Under EU law there is no entitlement to recover VAT incurred on non-business activities. However, section 33 of the VAT Act 1994 provides a special refund scheme under which bodies can recover VAT incurred on their non-business activities. The refund scheme was introduced to fulfil a pledge given before VAT was introduced, by the Government of the day, that VAT would, so far as possible, not fall as a burden on what is now the Council Tax and revenue support grant.