2.1 Room hire only
The hire of a room(s)/space is exempt from VAT*.
2.2 Room hire plus provision of tea/coffee etc.
If the provision of catering along with the room hire is minimal (i.e. restricted to the provision of tea/coffee/biscuits etc.) then the VAT treatment is exempt as above for the hire of the room only.
2.3 Room hire plus provision of catering/meals
Where, in addition to the use of the room, a meal is provided to delegates and an inclusive charge made for the room and meal/catering, each element needs to be treated as a separate supply. While the room hire continues to be exempt from VAT, the part of the income relating to the provision of catering/meals is subject to VAT at standard rate.
The invoice will therefore have to be split between the room charge and the catering/meals element.
This can no longer be treated as a single supply (what HMRC used to refer to as ‘the 8 hour delegate rate’) and must be split as set out above.
2.4 Room hire, food & sleeping accommodation
2.4.1 Provided to non-eligible bodies
The provision of room hire, catering/meals and sleeping accommodation together, even where made in return for an inclusive charge, must be treated as separate supplies.
The meals and sleeping accommodation will be subject to VAT at standard rate, whereas the room hire will be exempt from VAT*.
Where we have charged a single, inclusive fee for these supplies, a “fair and reasonable apportionment” of the fee must be made between the exempt room hire and the standard-rated meals and accommodation, and the invoice split between them.
This can no longer be treated as a single supply (what HMRC used to refer to as ‘the 24 hour delegate rate’) and must be split as set out above.
2.4.2 Conference facilities provided to other eligible bodies
If conference facilities are provided to another eligible body (such as one of the Colleges), then the whole fee can be treated as exempt from VAT* as the supply of services closely connected with education, provided that the other eligible body will use the facilities for the provision of education to fee paying students/fee paying conference attendees.
You should obtain a declaration from the customer stating that this is the case. A blank declaration ready for completion is available Customer Declaration - Eligible Body (PDF)
2.5 Room hire & catering for functions
If you are hiring out a room etc. where the primary use will be for the purpose of supplies of catering by the University, such as dinners/dances, wedding receptions, etc. the entire fee will be subject to standard-rated VAT.