Latest News

Update regarding VAT exemption for catering and other services linked to education

HMRC have issued a Brief advising that they will not alter their current policy on the VAT educational exemption until the Court of Appeal has delivered its judgment in the Brockenhurst College case next year, although they will consider claims and interim repayments based on the Upper Tribunal's decision.

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Portuguese VAT rate to increase?

The Portuguese Government has drafted legislation to increase the standard rate of VAT in Portugal with effect from 1 January 2015 was submitted to parliament. The proposed standard rates of VAT will be as follows:

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Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) registration

A reminder that from 1 January 2015, the place of taxation of digital services to non-business customers will be where the consumer is located, rather than the supplier.

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How our advice added £15K profit to one development

As VAT consultants we regularly assist clients to resolve disputes with HMRC. However, we can and often do, provide advice to client’s that increases the profit that they will achieve from transactions such as property developments.

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Commission relating to insurance is not always exempt

We often deal with businesses that have assumed that commission income they receive in relation to insurance services and financial services is VAT exempt. Unfortunately this is not always the case as in order to be VAT exempt the commission has to be generated from activities that meet a number of specific criteria.

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“It pays to challenge HMRC!”

One of our recent cases has highlighted that it is always worthwhile taking advice and challenging HMRC when they indicate they will assess.

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VAT on carrier bags in Scotland

From 20 October 2014, the Scottish Parliament is to introduce a compulsory charge on single use carrier bags set at a minimum of 5 pence. This charge will apply on single use carrier bags supplied with goods, supplied in or delivered from Scotland. Where such a charge is made by a VAT registered retailer/supplier there will be an obligation to charge VAT on the income received at the standard rate of VAT.

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Donations – VATable or not?

In the case of Serpentine Trust Ltd the First Tier Tribunal (Tax) considered the VAT treatment of 'donations' made by four friends schemes to the gallery, which provided the donors with benefits from the gallery.

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Intention versus Contract terms - an important VAT decision especially for high value contracts

The recent decision in the Court of Appeal case for CLP Holding Company v Singh and others challenges the generally accepted position for contracts where the price is stated to be exclusive of VAT and means that anyone dealing with contracts should be extra vigilant in respect of VAT.

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Snowballs or return of the Jaffa Cake debate

Many of you will recall that the VAT treatment of Jaffa cakes was a contentious subject a number of years ago and served to highlight how difficult it can sometimes be to determine the VAT liability of an item. A recent case for two businesses that sold marshmallow chocolate snow balls has resurrected some of the arguments used in the great Jaffa Cake debate. The manufactures sought to argue that the products were standard rated confectionary and instead were zero rated cakes and submitted a claim for VAT over declared, where as HMRC’s view was that the products were confectionary and correctly standard rated.

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