Caravan & Holiday Site Owners

New HMRC guidance with effect from 1 March 2012

‘What is the liability of a caravan pitch?

Pitch fees or rents received for the granting of the right to caravan owners to keep their caravans on pitches are either exempt or standard-rated. Broadly speaking, the intention of the law is to exempt pitches for caravans used as principal private residences.

The following table will help you to decide the liability of your supply. Words highlighted in bold are defined in the ‘Notes’ section at the bottom of the table.


The provision of pitches:
a) on holiday/leisure sites, regardless of how they are used, except for those pitches occupied by employees of site operators as their principal private residences
b) for restricted occupancy periods, except in the circumstances described in ‘(c)’ to the right.

The provision of pitches:
a) on permanent residential sites where caravans can be lived in at all times throughout the year
b) on sites for Travellers where the caravans are used as principal private residences
c) for restricted occupancy periods, but only if
• the site is not advertised or held out for holiday/leisure use, and
• the pitch is intended to be used as the occupant’s principal private residenced) any type of site (including holiday/leisure sites) if the pitch is occupied by a warden or other employee of the site operator as his or her principal private residence.

1) In determining whether a site is a ‘holiday/leisure site‘, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will have regard to the way that the site is held out/advertised. In most cases, it will be clear from advertising material if a site is operated for holiday/leisure purposes.
2) A pitch is for a ‘restricted occupancy period‘ if it is either provided for less than a year or is subject to an occupancy restriction.
3) An ‘occupancy restriction‘ is any covenant (for example, agreement or term in a contract), statutory planning consent, site licence or similar permission, the terms of which prevent the person to whom the pitch is provided from occupying it by living in a caravan at all times throughout the period for which the pitch is provided (such as a condition that says ‘no caravan shall be lived in during February’).
4) In the case of mixed use sites:
• any references above to ‘holiday/leisure sites‘ include holiday/leisure parts of mixed use sites• any references to ‘permanent residential sites‘ include permanent residential parts of mixed use sites input box
5) HMRC will accept that a caravan is intended for use as a principal private residence if the site owner holds evidence such as, proof of listing on the Valuation Office Agency’s (Opens new window) council tax register, evidence that the occupier has received housing benefit to help with the pitch fee, or agreements or contracts that indicate that the caravan is intended to be used as the occupant’s principal home. input box