Reclaiming VAT on decorating the workplace

Find out if your business can claim VAT on the decoration of your workplace.

As long as purchases made by a business have a clear business purpose, either wholly or in part then the VAT can be claimed. The fact that a purchase may benefit your business is irrelevant.

Decorating an office with fine art

What would be the VAT position if a work of art was purchased for a reception area or MD’s office? The purchase may have been made out of personal preference or with a view to enhance the image of the business for clients and staff which is a business motive.

Courts decision

Case law is helpful in determining the input recovery position. A recent case, Folkestone Harbour (GP) Ltd v HMRC 2015 ruled in favour of the taxpayer and the judges concluded the purchase of a decorative fountain had a business motive.


If you are considering purchasing a work of art for business then it is important to keep adequate minutes of the decision which should ensure the business motives are made clear.

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