VAT: temporary reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions

ATT follow up questions for JVCC

We would like to thank HMRC for taking the time to respond to the questions submitted by the ATT on the scope and operation of the temporary reduced rate of VAT for certain supplies of hospitality, holiday accommodation and admission to attractions. These have provided some helpful clarity on most of the issues raised.

Having gone through HMRC’s responses in detail, we have the below follow up queries which we would appreciate your assistance with.

Admission to attractions

The guidance VAT on admission charges to attractions published on 9 July 2020 indicates that the reduced rate for admission charges does not apply to “sporting events”. A link from the words “sporting events” takes you to the list of sports contained in Notice 701/45. This list includes “parachuting” but not “skydiving”.

A business offers skydiving experiences in a vertical wind tunnel. Can it therefore apply the temporary reduced rating to charges to users of the wind tunnel?

Would it make any difference if the user was a novice skydiver who required supervision and therefore might consider that he / she was paying for a skydiving “experience package”, as compared with charges to, say, the military, where it would be anticipated that the users would arrive fully “kitted up”, require no supervision and would therefore consider that they were paying for nothing more than access to the wind tunnel?

The temporary reduced rate is aimed at a broad spectrum of attractions. This includes admission to shows, theatres, circuses, fairs, amusement parks, concerts, museums, zoos, cinemas, exhibitions and similar events. A skydiving experience is a specialised experience which you would not generally expect to find at an amusement park or similar establishment.  The requirement for supervision does not, in and of itself, change the nature of the supply and we do not therefore consider that skydiving experiences in a vertical wind tunnel falls within the temporary reduced rate.


The guidance note VAT: reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions published on 9 July states that “You will also be able to charge the reduced rate of VAT on your supplies of hot takeaway food and hot takeaway non-alcoholic drinks.”

However, SI 2020/728 does not specifically mention takeaways and only refers to “hot food or hot drink for consumption off those [i.e. the supplier’s] premises”.  We believe that this arguably encompasses not just standard takeaways, but also where a hot meal is delivered to a customer. Either way, the food is still being supplied from the supplier’s premises and consumed away from them.

Can HMRC please confirm whether, in their view, the reduced rate can apply to delivered hot food, and if not, on what grounds?

We can confirm that the reduced rate also applies to a supply of hot takeaway food that is delivered to the customer as well as takeaways that are collected.