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HMRC internal manual

VAT Land and Property

What is a 'similar establishment' to a hotel, inn, or boarding house?: relevance of Note 9

The steps involved in determining whether an establishment is ‘similar’ to a hotel, inn, or boarding house have been simplified since Note 9 was inserted into Group 1, Schedule 9, in November 1986.

Prior to the insertion of Note 9, the issue of whether an establishment was a ‘similar establishment’ was solely a matter of fact and impression.

Note 9 simplifies the matter by deeming an establishment to be a ‘similar establishment’ if it provides furnished sleeping accommodation and is used or held out for use by visitors and travellers. It follows that if an establishment meets these conditions it is automatically treated as a similar establishment and there is no need to consider the factors described later in this chapter.

However, Note 9 does not provide an exhaustive definition of ‘similar establishment’ and establishments that do not meet the conditions of Note 9 should nevertheless be treated as ‘similar establishments’ if they are similar to a hotel, inn or boarding house as a matter of fact and impression. VATLP11330 provides guidance on how to determine whether this is the case.