Local Authority VAT free purchase scheme

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NOTE: I am no lawyer or VAT expert so the following information may be inaccurate! The rules may also change at any time.
You MUST verify the accuracy of this information for yourself.

It seems to be the case that parents can purchase laptops and tablets (e.g. iPads) without VAT through their local authority. This is an extension of the the assisted instrument purchase scheme.

Basically, it would appear that a Local Authority school can reclaim VAT on laptops, tablets and other closely related goods. Thus, a school could buy tablets/laptops and claim back the VAT via the local authority under Section 33 of the VAT Act 1994. They can then sell the tablets/laptops on to parents for this price.

This means that parents can buy a tablet or laptop at a 20% discount to the shop price.

The scheme only applies if the devices are going to be used to support tuition in school. The school cannot make a profit on the devices - they must pass them on the parents at the same price (without VAT) as they paid for them (or less).

Find out more from the HM Revenue and Customs website: