In this room I thee wed…
A recent VAT case in the Upper Tribunal has considered the VAT treatment of hire of a wedding venue. The appellants operate a large hotel where one of the rooms is approved under the relevant regulations to host wedding and civil partnership ceremonies.
The hotel had charged VAT on supplies of catering, drinks and reception venue. However they had treated the supply of the approved wedding room for the ceremony as exempt for VAT as leasing or letting of immoveable property. HMRC assessed for VAT they considered to be due and the hotel appealed.
HMRC were successful in the First Tier Tribunal and also now in the Upper Tribunal. The decision was based on the fact that the hotel actively exploited the room by seeking and obtaining approval for the conduct of marriages and performed all of the required activities to maintain that approval. This was not a mere passive letting of immoveable property and thus fell outside of the exemption.
This case will be of interest to other parties who have approved wedding venues such as hotels, historic buildings, stately homes etc.
If you have any queries on this issue, please get in touch with your usual contact at centurion or Julie Rawlinson-Smith on 07805 134091 or firstname.lastname@example.org