VAT margin schemes


You can only use a margin scheme for:

  • second-hand goods
  • works of art
  • antiques and collectors’ items

Second-hand goods

Goods that can still be used, or which could be used after repair.

Works of art

Most items normally described as ‘works of art’ are eligible. There are some exceptions, eg technical drawings, scenery for theatres and hand-decorated manufactured items.

Antiques and collectors’ items

Antiques are goods that are over 100 years old. Collectors’ items are stamps, coins and currency and other pieces of scientific, historical or archaeological interest. Not all items that can be collected are eligible for a margin scheme.

There are special rules for works of art, antiques or collectors’ items imported from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and works of art bought directly from the creator or their heirs.

Margin schemes and standard VAT

If some of the items you buy and sell aren’t eligible for a margin scheme, you pay and charge VAT for those items in the normal way.

You can’t include any of the following in your calculations when using a margin scheme:

  • business overheads
  • repairs
  • parts or accessories

Instead, reclaim these on your VAT return in the normal way.

Contact HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) if you’re not sure about a particular item.