International cases update – March 2013

March was a busy time in the UK for VAT decisions. In additional to the usual raft of decisions by the Tribunal, there were two notable decisions of the higher courts, being the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.

The first decision is Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs v Aimia Coalition Loyalty UK Limited (formerly known as Loyalty Management UK Limited) [2013] UKSC 15 where the Supreme Court considered whether the promoter of a loyalty scheme was entitled to input tax for payments made to retailers of goods who participate in the scheme and provide goods to customers who redeem points. The Court also considered the issue of whether the principles established in the Redrow line of cases were still good law. My analysis of this decision can be accessed here.

The second decision is Vehicle Control Services Limited v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs [2013] EWCA Civ 186 where the issue was whether parking charges were subject to VAT as being consideration for a supply or payments in the nature of damages. My analysis of this decision can be accessed here.

United Kingdom

Supreme Court

Court of Appeal

High Court of Justice

Upper Tax Tribunal

  • British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions Ltd v Revenue and Customs [2013] UKUT 130 – Value Added Tax – claim to repayment of output tax allegedly overpaid – whether services provided by Appellant Association to its members exempt under Value Added Tax Act 1994, Schedule 9, Group 9, Item 1(d) – whether primary purpose of Association was lobbying – whether any exemption under Item 1(d) disapplied by Note 5 – whether membership of Association restricted in accordance with Note 5 – whether defence to repayment of allegedly overpaid output tax on the ground of unjust enrichment
  • HM Revenue & Customs and Ford Motor Co Ltd v Brunnel Motor Co Ltd [2013] UKUT 6 -Value Added Tax – Whether original agreement for supply of cars discharged by subsequent agreement – Question of fact remitted by the Court of Appeal for determination by the First-tier Tribunal – Whether material error of law in determination of that question by the FTT – No – Appeal dismissed
  • Reed Employment Ltd v HMRC [2013] UKUT 109 – Value added tax (VAT) – what constitutes a new claim as compared to an amended claim under VATA section 80 – whether HMRC can rely on a defence of unjust enrichment in relation to claims made after 26 May 2005 – application of EU principles of effectiveness, equal treatment and fiscal neutrality

First Tier Tribunal

  • Longridge on the Thames v Revenue & Customs [2013] UKFTT 158 – VAT – whether building intended for use solely for a relevant charitable purpose – charity with objects of educating young people in water activities – construction of training centre – whether construction services zero-rated – whether charity carrying on a business/economic activity – no – Items 2 and 4 of Group 5 of Schedule 8 to VATA 1994 – Notes (6) and (10) to Group 5 – Articles 2, 9, 132 and 133 of VAT Directive – appeal allowed
  • Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council v Revenue & Customs [2013] UKFTT 125 – VAT – single or  multiple supply- 10 year lease of memorial in a  crematorium and right to inscribed plaque – held single supply; nature of supply – held supply of letting of immovable property
  • Systems Aluminium Ltd v Revenue & Customs [2013] UKFTT 201 – VAT – overpayment of output tax charged by Appellant to business customer registered for VAT; reimbursement arrangements with HMRC; whether arrangement a binding contract; whether reimbursement arrangements ultra vires; Appellant crediting customer with reimbursement to reduce customer’s indebtedness to Appellant; whether reimbursement made “in cash or by cheque”; assessment to recover repaid VAT on grounds of unjust enrichment; whether Appellant unjustly enriched; whether Appellant incurred loss or damage through mistaken assumptions made in his case about the operation of VAT provisions; VAT 1994 s80(1)(3), 80(4A), 80B, 80(3B); VAT Regulations 1995, regulations 43B, 43C, 43G; whether Tribunal has jurisdiction to consider public law remedy; appeal dismissed
  • Tallington Lakes Ltd v Revenue & Customs [2013] UKFTT 159 – VAT – exempt supplies – pitches for mobile homes – voluntary disclosure for periods 04/89 to 12/96 – claim to repayment of output tax – Group 1 Schedule 6 VAT Act 1983 – seasonal pitches – supplies properly standard rated –  appeal dismissed
  • The Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health v Revenue & Customs [2013] UKFTT 202 – VAT – Whether sale of property subject to agreement for lease  TOGC –  on facts – yes – Whether assessment to tax made timeously – no – Whether vendor of property required to repay input VAT to reflect partially exempt use of property by purchaser – no – appeals allowed

European Court of Justice

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