HMRC has issued R&C Brief 6 (2022), relating to the arithmetic relating to Lennartz VAT accounting. This arises where, before the law changed in 2010, full VAT was reclaimed on a purchase that was partly for business use and partly non-business use. This approach required the taxpayer to then account for VAT on the notional depreciation value of the asset each tax period until the end of the depreciation period.
However, HMRC has noted that this would cause assets purchased when the VAT rate was 17.5% to be taxed at 20%, which means that more tax is paid in the long term than the original claim saved. Accordingly, HMRC accepts that where the total tax paid in Lennartz payments reaches the same sum as was claimed on the non-business element, then Lennartz payments can cease.
This is a welcome development and will reassure charities that made the Lennartz choice, and which otherwise faced the prospect that the decision was not in the charity’s best interests.