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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 ...

Parliament Entitled to Close Perceived Tax Loophole Retrospectively

There is nothing inherently wrong with Parliament legislating retrospectively in order to plug perceived tax loopholes. The High Court resoundingly made that point in rejecting claims that a back-dated change in the law violated the human rights of...

What Is the Difference Between a Car and a Van? Income Tax Test Case

What is the difference between a car and a van? The Court of Appeal's definitive answer to that question has very significant tax implications for employers who provide vehicles for their employees' combined business and private use. The case concerned a...

Cakes v Confectionery - Tribunal Laments Confused State of VAT Rules

In ruling that vegan sweet treats targeted at health food shops should be subject to VAT at the standard rate, the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) lamented the long-standing confusion in the law when it comes to distinguishing between confectionery and cakes. The...

Dishonestly Misled Company Overturns £115,000 VAT Late Payment Penalties

Delaying payment of your quarterly VAT bills is no way to relieve pressure on your cash flow and usually results in heavy financial penalties. However, as a First-tier Tribunal (FTT) ruling showed, there is such a thing as a reasonable excuse for late...

Part-Time Football Referees Are Self-Employed, Tax Tribunal Rules

Part-time referees who officiate at professional football matches on a game-by-game basis are not employees. Confirming their self-employed status in a guideline case, the Upper Tribunal (UT) noted that they are so motivated to work that there is no need to...

Continued Controversy Over Delayed IR35 Tax Reforms

The House of Lords has produced a damning report into the intended changes to the IR35 off-payroll working rules. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the reforms have been delayed by the government, which says the move is a 'deferral and not a...
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