Military and Civilians on orders to the UK with ration privileges are also eligible for VAT exemption for certain purchases. Those eligible for the Value Added Tax (VAT) Relief Program must present a valid ID and ration card at time of processing. Through our VAT Relief office, you can process a VAT-free transaction for purchases of individual items and services over £100 (VAT inclusive), for a small fee.
Common eligible purchases are:
- Car parts and service
- Furniture pieces and sets
- Some housing services and repairs (restrictions apply, see Homeowner tab)
Each individual item, set, or service must be priced at £100 or more (VAT inclusive) for processing. VAT relief cannot be granted for unrelated items under the £100 minimum, even if the total quote is over £100.
Utilities, real property, and vehicles – including motorcycles – are prohibited from purchase under the program. All quotes are subject to approval – if you have any questions or concerns about item eligibility, please contact our office.
In order to process through our office, please follow the steps outlined below (NOTE: DO NOT PURCHASE ITEMS DIRECTLY FROM VENDOR OR MAKE ANY DEPOSITS):
- Find out if the supplier is willing to participate in the VAT program (a letter explaining the program to the supplier is available).
- Obtain a quote addressed to 48 FSS or 48th Force Support Squadron; the quote must contain the following information:
- Name of the Supplier (business or individual)
- Supplier Address
- Supplier Phone Number
- Customer Name
- Itemization of good or services received & price per unit.
- Total Cost of Purchase. Quote must clearly state the VAT exclusive amount
- Date of Quote (Quotes are valid for 30 days)
- Visit the VAT office with the following items in order to purchase a government check made payable to the vendor:
- DOD ID Card and Ration Card (for tobacco/liquor- NOT your 3rd AF license)
- £ Sterling Cash or Cashier’s Check for the VAT exclusive quote amount
- £ or $ for processing fee
o E1-E4 (or Civilian Equivalent) is $8 or £ equivalent
o E5 & Up (or Civilian Equivalent) is $10 or £ equivalent
PLEASE NOTE: We can only accept Cash or Cashier’s check as payment. We cannot accept personal checks, credit cards, or debit cards.
- Take the check and VAT Free Certificates to the supplier and purchase goods or services.
- Have the supplier complete the information on the VAT Free Purchase certificates and return one copy to the VAT office within 10 calendar days.
- The certificate labeled “Merchant Copy” remains with the supplier.
- FAILURE TO RETURN A COPY OF THE CERTIFICATE TO THE VAT OFFICE MAY RESULT IN YOUR EXCLUSION FROM FUTURE PARTICIPATION.
Housing services such as boiler service and carpet cleaning are eligible for all ration-privileged individuals under the general VAT Relief process. Repairs and replacements of fixed items (i.e., windows, flooring, fixtures, boilers, etc.) in the home are ONLY eligible for homeowners and are subject to further restrictions (below).
To process a VAT free transaction for a home repair or replacement:
- You must own the home.
- We cannot VAT relieve any service that has already taken place or any item that has already been installed.
- We are not permitted to provide VAT relief for upgrades to a home. All repairs or replacements MUST be “like for like”. For example, if your home currently has tile floors, we cannot VAT relieve the replacement of the existing tile floors with hardwood or carpet. Another example would be if you have a boiler in your home that needs to be replaced, the new boiler must be of the same size and use the same fuel source as the existing boiler.
- We are not permitted to provide VAT relief for refurbishments or extensions/expansions to real property. For example, if your home does not have cupboards in one place, we cannot VAT relieve the addition of cupboards. We can only VAT relieve the “like for like” replacement of the existing item. Furthermore, we may not provide VAT Relief for home extensions/expansions such as the construction of a conservatory.
- VAT relief for anything to do with a home must be approved by management. This can take up to three business days, so it is highly recommended to obtain a quote and submit to the VAT Office either in person or via email well in advance.
- Your quote must be accompanied by photos of fixtures currently installed in the home and a detailed proposal. We are able to accept stock photos from a website, catalog or a very detailed description or diagram of the item/service being purchased.
- Upon processing for VAT relief, you will be required to write a statement that says “I am the homeowner. I am replacing a like item for a like item. I understand that if I ever move, I am subject to review by Her Majesty’s Customs, and it may result in having to pay the VAT.”
Once all restrictions above are met, the transaction will proceed under the same process listed on the “General” tab of this page.