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.

AJN Tip

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.


AJN Accountants are specialists in helping contractors, freelancers and small businesses to save tax and time.

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