The Coalition Government are changing the law so that air ambulance charities will be eligible for refunds on the VAT they pay.
Earlier in the year the Government introduced a grant scheme so that air ambulance charities could claim back the costs of VAT and fuel duty paid when buying fuel for their aircraft.
This new scheme will mean that air ambulance charities will be able to apply for VAT refunds on all their search and rescue activities. The Association of Air Ambulances said it expected air ambulance charities to save around £10m over the next five years from both the financial savings and by making administration easier by being able to treat all expenses equally.
Hospices and search and rescue services will also be eligible for the tax refund which comes into force on 1st April 2015. The decision was announced in the Government’s Autumn Budget Statement this week.
Dan welcomed the announcement, saying, “The Government already provide financial help for air ambulances to cover the VAT they pay when buying aircraft fuel, but under the current rules air ambulance and search and rescue charities cannot claim VAT back on their other activities.
“Cornwall Air Ambulance do an outstanding job in providing lifesaving support to the emergency services. As the country’s first dedicated helicopter emergency service, the charity has led the way and has been at the forefront of campaigning for a fair deal on VAT for air ambulance charities.
“This decision will give Cornwall Air Ambulance and other charities a much needed financial boost, enabling them to make the best use of their donations and to invest more in emergency equipment to help them save lives.”