Midland based charities should take advantage of a new scheme launched by Chancellor Gordon Brown, say accountants Dains.

Under the system, proposed in this year's Budget, UK charities will be able to recover VAT incurred on the construction, renovation and maintenance of memorials.

This will complement an existing refund scheme for listed places of worship.

Hugh Reynolds of Dains said: "Claims on qualifying supplies made on, or post March 16 will be considered by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, who are administrating the scheme.

"We encourage those who are eligible for this initiative, but there is a set criteria that has to be met in order to qualify for the refund."

It is hoped the introduction of the scheme will not only reduce VAT for charities but also raise awareness of the social value of memorials.

Meanwhile, Dains is advising businesses to check if their audit fees are to rise, as new legislation to tackle fraud is implemented along with new international accounting standards.