For local authority elections, the Representation of the People Act 1983, s. 35(1) stipulates that:

‘… every district/county council shall appoint an officer of the council to be the returning officer for elections of councillors to the district/county.’

As this places the local authority under a statutory obligation to provide the returning officer, the authority can recover any VAT it incurs in connection with local elections under VATA 1994, s. 33.

Local authority officers frequently also act as returning officers in Parliamentary and European elections. The Representation of the People Act 1983 states:

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