Chancellor’s Autumn Statement – Search and Rescue Charities will be able to claim refunds on VAT

The following good news is reported from a statement issued by our national body ; Mountain Rescue England and Wales;

Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW) and the British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC) are both delighted and grateful following the Chancellor’s statement today. From April 2015, search and rescue charities will be able to claim refunds on VAT.

Bill Whitehouse of BCRC has been involved in the discussions that have led to today’s announcement: ‘This should mean that money donated by the public to provide our essential services can be used in full for the purpose it was intended without a proportion being lost in VAT payments. The change will mean that we will be treated similarly for VAT as the emergency services we work alongside such as the police and fire and rescue service.

Mike France, Chairman of MREW, said: ‘It is great to have the recognition in central government of the valuable work done by volunteer rescue services and also of the generosity of our many supporters.’

‘This issue of financial support has been under discussion for a long time and there have been various options and mechanisms in place – the latest announcement looks encouraging but we’ve still to see the details of how much admin will be needed from our already stretched volunteers and also how we can ensure that this refund and other support from central government has a positive impact for all the 50+ teams across England and Wales.’

Both MREW and BCRC have worked closely with the RNLI, the UK Search and Rescue Volunteers Working Group and the Charity Tax Group to achieve this result. It will benefit all charities that carry out search and rescue operations and, therefore, all the people they assist.

This is great news for the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team and will maximise the benefit we receive from the kindness of those who donate to us.