A More Significant Role for English Law in VAT Tribunals

In the case of Oak Tree Motor Homes Ltd v HMRC, there was a dispute regarding whether motor homes/motor caravans qualified as caravans for VAT purposes and therefore attract the zero-rate of VAT.

Although the Appellants appeal was dismissed, the First-Tier Tribunal concluded that HMRC’s definition of a caravan in VAT Notice 701/20: Caravans & Houseboats was irrelevant under these circumstances.  The result of the case was instead based on the intention of Parliament when the law was put into place.

This demonstrates that the VAT tribunals will consider the principals of domestic English law itself and will likely ignore the published guidelines of HMRC.

If you are considering a challenge against a decision that has been made by HMRC, please contact one of our experienced consultants via the free helpline.

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