VAT for Housing Associations

Speaker:  Nick Lawrence  |  CPD Hours: 6.0

Price £495 plus VAT

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VAT has always been a notoriously difficult issue for housing associations; principally because their core activity involves complex land and property transactions and, as the majority of their income is exempt, they are unable to reclaim a significant proportion of the VAT on their expenditure. The course is designed to provide a thorough explanation of VAT as it applies to housing associations, with particular emphasis on these areas. At the end of the course, delegates will have a clear understanding of the most significant compliance issues and planning opportunities.

Awareness of VAT-saving possibilities will be heightened at all staff levels within housing associations and for all those who make supplies to, receive supplies from or advise them. Junior staff will become familiar with the right questions to ask and senior staff will receive clear guidance in making key, strategic decisions.


  • What is VAT? It is important to ensure all delegates have a solid grasp of what VAT is before they can fully appreciate the main areas applicable to housing associations.
  • An introduction to the basic principles of VAT applicable to housing associations. This session will build on the foundations of the first and focus on aspects of VAT which specifically affect housing associations.
  • How to understand the correct VAT treatment of land and property transactions. The core activity of housing associations is covered by the VAT rules on land and property; in particular the parts covering residential accommodation, so this session is crucial in helping delegates understand the intricacies and potential pitfalls.
  • Other common VAT issues affecting housing associations. It is important to cover other aspects of VAT, which are not land and property related, but which could have an impact.
  • Partial exemption – a full explanation of the rules regarding how much VAT on expenditure can be reclaimed and guidance on how to improve recovery. This will cover the basic rules, the standard apportionment method and a detailed analysis of popular special methods, which could improve recovery of input tax.
  • The capital goods scheme – this is closely related to partial exemption and often ignored or misunderstood.
  • A review of planning opportunities, not covered earlier in the course. Reference will be made to important Tribunal and Court case decision, which could impact on housing associations.


The course is ideal for housing association staff at all levels, especially finance and development staff who are directly or indirectly involved with VAT.  It would also be particularly relevant for staff from other businesses and organisations involved in transactions with housing associations, and professional advisers of all of these.

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