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HMRC internal manual

VAT Government and Public Bodies

Government departments and health authorities: VAT law: section 99 refund scheme

The Government of Northern Ireland recovers VAT incurred on non-business activities under the provisions of section 99 of the VAT Act 1994. This acknowledges that the Government of Northern Ireland undertakes certain activities which elsewhere in the UK are the responsibility of local authorities. For this reason it is not subject to the Treasury’s Contracting Out Direction (see VATGPB9340).

The section 99 refund mechanism allows departments of the Northern Ireland Government to claim a refund of VAT incurred through non-business activities on:

  • supplies of goods or services
  • acquisitions of goods from another Member State, and
  • importations of goods from outside the EU.

Each Northern Ireland department agrees the percentage of VAT which relates to its non business activities with the Department of Finance and Personnel (see VATGPB9400).