Our charges for waste water services are zero rated for VAT purposes, but we are required to add VAT at 20% to our charges for clean water services supplied to our industrial customers whose main business activity is listed in divisions 1-5 of the 1980 version of Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) List.  

Generally speaking these activities relate to businesses that operate in the construction, engineering, manufacturing, mining, quarrying, fuel production, power and water industries. Supplies of water to customers whose main business activity is not listed in divisions 1-5 of the 1980 SIC list are zero-rated for VAT purposes.


Why VAT is charged

We are required to add VAT to our charges for water which we supply to customers whose main business activity is considered to be industrial in accordance with the Standard Industrial Classification ("SIC") list 1980.

These activities cover utilities, construction, mining, textile, manufacturing and engineering industries.  

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)

SIC is an abbreviation for Standard Industrial Classification. It is a code used by the Office of National Statistics to classify businesses by the economic activity in which they are engaged.

If your business has more than one activity or has different activities at various locations, then we require details of the main activity for the business as a whole and we will then accept this for all of your business locations.

If we do not hold a valid SIC code we will charge you VAT by default until you either provide us with one or tell us your main business activity.

1980 version of SIC list

The law for VAT purposes is based on the 1980 SIC list. If you cannot provide a code from the 1980 list, we will be happy to accept a code from either the 2003 or 2007 lists provided it accords with the description of your main business activity.

How your account is updated once you give either a SIC code or business activity

Currently we are required by VAT law to make corrections if we discover errors made in our records up to 4 years ago.

As a household customer paying VAT

If your details have changed or we are charging you VAT by default, speak to one of our agents directly on 03306 780 646.