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Cautionary Tale Illustrates the Necessity of Professional Tax Advice

A Court of Appeal case concerning a businessman who was on the receiving end of an unexpected six-figure tax demand served as a cautionary tale that graphically illustrated the importance of seeking specialist advice before entering into commercial deals...

Supreme Court Takes a 'Real-World' Approach to Rates Avoidance Schemes

When assessing whether tax mitigation schemes are effective, judges must interpret legislation in the real world and with regard to the likely intentions of Parliament. The Supreme Court made those points in a test case concerning schemes designed to avoid...

Charity-Run Restaurant Exempted from VAT - Guideline Tax Tribunal Ruling

Should potentially competitive business activities engaged in by charities be exempt from VAT? The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) confronted that issue in extending VAT exemption to supplies made by a restaurant where students with learning disabilities gain...

Property Investment Company Pays for 'Deliberate' VAT Return Default

Almost every business owner understands that feeling of desperation arising from cashflow problems. As a case concerning VAT due on a commercial property sale showed, however, treating tax liabilities as a can to be kicked down the road is never a sensible...

Digital News Publisher Tastes Defeat in VAT Zero-Rating Test Case

Those who draft legislation cannot possibly foresee technological advances that may transform society in the future. In a case on point , the Court of Appeal considered whether VAT zero-rating, afforded to newspapers since pre-internet days, should be...

Poor Record-Keeping is a Recipe for Dispute with the Tax Authorities

Sensible businesspeople understand that failing to keep proper accounting records and paper trails of transactions is an invitation to dispute with the tax authorities. In a case on point, a property developer came within an ace of incurring a substantial...

Mistaken £450,000 VAT Payment Triggers Construction Industry Dispute

The vexed distinction between building works that qualify for VAT zero-rating and those that do not can be puzzling even for construction industry professionals. A case on point focused on the tricky legal consequences of almost £450,000 in VAT having...

What Exactly Is a 'Property Developer'? Tax Tribunal Confronts the Issue

It might be thought that the meaning of the phrase 'property developer' is as clear as a bell. However, in a tax case of great significance to corporate property owners , its precise definition proved challenging to say the least. The case concerned the...

The Law Cracks Down on £35 Million 'Mafia-type' VAT/Duty Evasion Fraud

The immense profits that can be made from the fraudulent evasion of VAT and import duties makes it an attractive proposition for organised criminals. However, as a case concerning wine imports showed , HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are wise to such...

Commercial Pregnancy Ultrasound Scanning Granted Medical VAT Exemption

The question of whether particular services are exempt from VAT is a perennial bone of contention which can have major financial and business consequences. That was certainly so in a case concerning the commercial provision of ultrasound scanning services ...
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