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HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

Police authorities: specific activities: linguists

The police make frequent use of self-employed interpreters and translators. They may be required by the police when interviewing, either as a suspect or witness, those who do not speak or write English or to take part in court proceedings.

Expenses incurred by those linguists who are not VAT registered may be accepted as incurred as agents of the police. Subject therefore to satisfactory proof of expenditure, any VAT can be recovered under section 33 (see VATGPB4000).

Similarly, it is normal practice for the linguist to receive a mileage allowance. The VAT on the road fuel element paid to an unregistered linguist is also recoverable under section 33.

Where a linguist is VAT registered any costs they incur and the mileage they recover will form part of the consideration for their taxable supply to the police. They should therefore include VAT on their invoice which likewise may be recovered under section 33.