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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

Entity to be registered: Government departments

Government departments are not bound by the provisions concerning registration and enforcement, but all are specially registered. Any part of a government department may be treated as a separate entity for the purposes of VAT, if the Treasury so directs. For example, the Fire Service College can be registered separately from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and account for the tax due on its supplies separately.

The following bodies are treated in the same way as government departments:

  • the Houses of Parliament
  • regional and area health authorities
  • the boards of governors of certain teaching hospitals
  • regional health boards (in Scotland)
  • executive agencies and trading funds
  • NHS trusts.

The VAT affairs of Government Departments in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are dealt with, in the first instance, by the Customer Compliance Manager (CCM), or Tax Specialist for the individual department. Government departments who do not have a CCM or nominated Tax Specialist should contact the Public Bodies Group:

HM Revenue & Customs

Public Bodies Enquiries S0927


NE98 1ZZ


Telephone: 0300 123 2082 (Mon-Fri, 9am - 3pm)