Category: Misunderstanding

UK VAT Registration – a very close shave

I’ve just read the most surprising VAT tribunal decision in the case of Mr & Mrs Belcher (TC05891) who seem to have been very lucky indeed.  I would definitely not recommend anyone adopting the same arrangements for their own business; I doubt many would achieve the same outcome. The argument was whether Mr & Mrs […]

UK VAT rule – ‘No invoice, no claim’

Here’s a rare thing – a straightforward VAT rule! ‘No invoice, no VAT claim’ is the consistent line coming out of tribunal so it really is worth checking your files. In theory HMRC can accept alternative evidence if it’s “almost impossible”, or “excessively difficult” to obtain a valid VAT invoice from the supplier but it […]

UK VAT on flowers -v- food

Always remember VAT works on the ‘guilty until proven innocent’ principle.  VAT is due unless a specific relief applies.  All of the VAT reliefs are narrowly applied so you should avoid expecting HMRC to be generous in any interpretation. Busily buying seeds reminded me of the fine line between zero-rated seeds for growing food and […]

UK VAT Flat Rate confusion

You might know that service businesses that don’t buy in goods or materials will have to pay a higher VAT flat rate from April.  Question is do you understand who will be affected and how? The new rules were covered in a recent HMRC webinar, which actually proved to be quite entertaining.  HMRC referred to […]

UK VAT due when the customer collects

Always remember that VAT is due unless you can prove it isn’t.  Proving that goods have left the UK is an absolute rule that should never be overlooked.  If you can’t prove it then VAT is due to HMRC.  It’s all about having the right bits of paper. The tribunal decision in Grange Road Car […]

UK VAT definition of sport

VAT is full of hair-splitting definitions with the latest debate on what is a sport?  Seems like an easy enough question doesn’t it?  Not for VAT though.  And not when it’s about Bridge of all things.   I know all too well that Bridge is a very hard game to learn but I never once thought […]

UK VAT claims on petrol allowances

Anyone claiming VAT on employee expenses should make sure they hold proper evidence otherwise their claims won’t safe.   This was a lesson learnt the hard way by a group of pharmacies trading as Cohens Chemist (Tribunal reference TC05643) when they had £67,000 VAT claims blocked. It’s very easy to be sniffy about details like […]

UK VAT & deciding what’s being sold

Here’s a case that goes to show you just have to read the rules objectively.  VAT will be due unless tightly worded exceptions apply.  No matter how hard you try you can’t push something into a VAT relief if it just shouldn’t be there. Maybe it’s just me but I think I heard echoes of […]

UK VAT on Lap-dancing vouchers

It’s always important to look objectively at what you’re doing before deciding how to treat VAT, something that seems to have been lacking in Wiltonpark Ltd.  Here lap dancing vouchers were being treated as though they were VAT exempt money vouchers but the Court of Appeal disagreed. Wiltonpark operated table and lap dancing clubs in […]

UK VAT on Non-EU B2C Distance sales

Talking to a new client on Friday about UK zero-rating their B2C non-EU sales and realised there’s another angle to explore. If distance selling within the EU can create a liability to pay VAT where the customer belongs, could that extend to non-EU B2C sales? There are now 114 countries operating a VAT-type system. How […]