VAT status of research

Research contracts with the following eligible bodies are exempt from VAT, with no input VAT recovery:

  • UK universities
  • Schools and colleges
  • Government departments and agencies
  • NHS trusts and hospitals
  • Health authorities
  • Local authorities
  • Research councils
  • Eligible charitable bodies

All other research contracts are vatable at the standard rate, but with input VAT recovery in most cases.

Contracts with EU and foreign universities and companies are subject to the rules, Section 5 Imports and Exports.

Where the status of a research contract is unclear, Research and Commercial Services will apply an external decision-making computer programme.