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VAT Services

The VAT Scheme and our services

VAT Services

Overview of the VAT Scheme and our services

The Weatherbys VAT Services team provides advice for racehorse owners, simplifying what can be a complex and time consuming process. On your behalf we liaise with HM Revenue and Customs on all VAT affairs, including online VAT applications and the compilation and submission of quarterly VAT returns. 

There is more information about VAT Services in this downloadable leaflet. Alternatively, please email the team, or call+44 (0)1933 440077. 


Frequently Asked Questions about the VAT Scheme

What is the Owners’ VAT Scheme?

The VAT Scheme allows registered owners to claim back their racing related VAT, providing they have a sponsorship agreement in place to the minimum value of £300 per horse, or £750 per horse if running in Class 1 races, or a minimum of £100 per horse per year where the agreement is for a group of ten or more horses.

How do I get a sponsor?

The sponsorship framework is designed to allow owners to register their racing activities as a business for VAT purposes. All racehorse sponsorship agreements must be registered with the British Horseracing Authority. Sponsorship can be between an owner and a sponsor, a trainer and a sponsor, or a jockey and a sponsor. 

Your trainer may be able to help with this.  Alternatively, the ROA will provide sponsorship for horses in training which are wholly owned by ROA members.  Further details can be obtained from the ROA. Click here to open the relevant page on their website (opens in new tab or window).

What is included in the scheme?

The original purchase price of the horse, training fees, veterinary fees, blacksmith fees, telephone bills, travel and accommodation costs incurred by you when watching your horse race or train and much more.  Weatherbys VAT Services will be happy to advise you on specific details.

Can I still register for VAT under the Scheme if I live overseas?

Yes.  Either by using an agent based in the UK to act on your behalf, like Weatherbys VAT Services, or by registering directly with HM Revenue & Customs in Aberdeen which specialises with VAT registered traders who are based overseas.  Weatherbys VAT Services can arrange this for you.

When will I receive my first refund?

The online VAT registration process takes just over two weeks.  As a general guide repayments should normally take no longer than 2 weeks from the date your VAT submission is made.  However, this can vary depending on the amount of the claim, as higher claims may result in HMRC requesting further information.

If I own less than 50% of the horse what can I do?

If you are in a Racing Partnership or Joint Ownership then you can register a joint VAT number with your partners and claim back the VAT through this registration.  Weatherbys VAT Services will be able to advise you on this process.

What if I sell my racehorse after I am registered for VAT?

If you sell your racehorse after you are VAT registered then the sale will attract VAT.  If you are entering it for sale through a public auction then please notify the auction house in advance of the sale that you are VAT registered.   If you sell the horse privately then the sales invoice must detail the VAT charged.  All VAT charged on sales must be declared to H M Revenue & Customs.

Is VAT due if I give a horse away or put it to non-business use?

You must account for VAT if you recovered input VAT on the original purchase.  The value for VAT purposes is the open market value at the time the non-business use occurs or the horse is disposed of.  If you are not certain of the open market value you should ask a bloodstock agent for a valuation.

Is there a cost to register for VAT?

An online registration fee was introduced on 1st January 2015. This simplifies the setting up of a VAT registration for new clients.  We will liaise with HMRC and gather the necessary information required, which will save owners from complex forms.  A one off fee for this service will be applied of £35 plus VAT for all sole applicants and £50 plus VAT for all partnership applicants at the time of the first VAT submission.

What is the quarterly cost?

Our charges depend on the number of horses in training as detailed in our schedule of fees:                                  

Schedule of fees
Number of horses 1* 2 3 4 5 6 7+
Number of joint owners/partners
for whom invoices are submitted
1 (sole owner) £107 £143 £168 £168 £200 £200 POA
2-4 £143 £168 £168 £200 £200 £224 POA
5-8 £168 £168 £200 £200 £224 £255 POA
9-12 £168 £200 £200 £224 £255 £255 POA
13-20 Price on application
 *The above charges assume that the client has a Weatherbys Bank account and therefore include a 10% discount