All Change for VAT on Vouchers

If your business issues vouchers, you should be aware that the VAT regime will change significantly on 1 January 2019.

From that time, the VAT treatment of a voucher will depend on whether it is a 'single purpose' voucher or a 'multi-purpose' voucher.

A single purpose voucher, as the name implies, can only be used for one thing. In this case, the VAT treatment follows that of the supply for which the voucher can be used. For example, if a voucher can only be used for a standard-rated supply (e.g. a restaurant meal), a charge at the standard rate of VAT is triggered as soon as the voucher is supplied.

A multi-purpose voucher is one that can be used for items that carry different rates of VAT. In this case, the supply of the voucher does not constitute a VATable supply. Instead, the VAT is determined at the time of redemption.

HM Revenue and Customs will shortly be producing guidance on the operation of the new scheme as there are complexities, for example when vouchers are also tickets and where they also give discounts.