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Antique Fairs


Antiques Fair Companies fight against VAT
Antiques Fair Companies fight against VAT - Antiques Fair Companies fight against VAT
Fair businesses across the UK are facing an issue on the supply of space at fairs (antiques & collectors, craft, vintage, art deco etc) HMRC have declared VAT should be applied, effectively putting the cost of the stallholders pitch up by 20%,
Both Nelson Events and IACF, 2 of the UK’s leading antiques & collectors fair organisers, believe that this is not the case and we are fighting to get this decision reversed.
They have advised Antiques-Now that following a meeting with both legal counsel and VAT advisors, they believe that “we have a strong case to defend, however, we are a long way from winning our fight! We are in the process of combining our efforts, to hold a single tribunal and obtain a ruling on the validity of the new VAT rules. However, this process will probably take 12 months before we get a final judgement.
This puts us (and all other relevant organisers) in the delicate position of having to account for VAT on pitch sales from last November. We feel it is unfair to ask our stallholders to pay the VAT charges on past events and therefore we will pay this VAT on their behalf at a considerable cost to our organisations.
However, after much discussion, debate and professional advice, both Nelson Events and IACF have taken the decision to start accounting for VAT from 1st October 2013, which means that, reluctantly, we do have to pass on an increase to dealers. However, we have decided to share some of this extra cost, which means we are limiting the increase to just 12.5% and not the full 20%. In the event that we win our fight, every effort will be made to credit anything paid by way of this additional charge back to our customers.
The increase will apply to all new stall holder bookings taken on or after the 1st October and also to any existing bookings unpaid at close of business on the 30th September.
Public and trade entry prices are not affected, as VAT is already charged on these.
We do hope that you understand that this is not a decision we have taken lightly. Any organiser who is not taking this issue seriously, has not taken advice or is taking a different approach does so at their own risk and may face severe penalties and costs should we lose our case, with the potential of being forced to close and the obvious financial knock on effect to any stallholder who may have paid them monies in advance!”
The Nelson Events Team
What Can You Do?
Every visitor, stallholder, organiser and stakeholder needs to know what is happening and work together to put pressure on HMRC and Government to halt their plans to implement this new interpretation and approach to VAT on this style of events. Below is what you can do to help.
Sign the Petition
A petition website,, to not only explain the issues in more detail, but to also collect signatures of everyone who shares a concern on this issue, which will then be passed on to HMRC, MP’s, Government Ministers and any person of influence, to help us in our cause.
Tell Other Stallholders and Organisers
Please point as many people as possible to A leaflet has been produced that will be distributed at our future fairs and that of other organisers (with their agreement). If you would like to help distribute the leaflet at other fairs you attend please email us at and we will post you some.
Share Your Concerns with Your MP
They are there to represent you! Your business and future may be affected by these changes. If you would like a prepared letter for you to send to your MP,contact the
Follow Us On Twitter
You can follow our cause and receive updates at #SaveOurFairs
We thank you for your understanding and support on this issue.

Date Posted - 29 Aug 2013
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