Posts

VAT and Supporting People Supplies

This commentary relates to the case of Birmingham YMCA (and others), about which I wrote a previous commentary in September 2018, and in respect of which an appeal has been heard at the Upper Tribunal (UKUT0143). From the VAT technical point of view, this is a case about the application of VAT exemption to welfare services. Where a decision is made by the First tier Tribunal, and an appeal against that fails, it is usually a simple case of upholding the arguments that had been accepted by the first judge. Whereas the Upper Tribunal, in this case, dismissed the charities’ appeals, it is worth pausing to consider why, and what this tells us, in addition to the decisions by the first judge. To read more – click here

VAT zero rate for reading material

Charities and their advisers will be aware of the favourable zero rate VAT regime for reading material that has applied in the UK since the days of purchase tax.  They will also know of the seemingly illogical stance of HMRC that this relief only applies to old fashioned physical print formats and not to modern digital formats.  This has been a bone of contention for many years, and one conglomerate, News Corp UK & Ireland, has litigated over the issue to seek zero rating on the digital equivalents of their well-known newspapers. Read more by clicking here

Whether a structure is an Annexe – Yeshivas Lubavitch Manchester case

I have previously commented on the Yeshivas Lubavitch Manchester tribunal case in the context of whether a proposed use of a building is a ‘relevant charitable purpose’. However, the case also concerned whether the works in question created an ‘annexe’ as distinct from an ‘extension’ to an existing structure. For the zero rate to apply to the works, this condition also needed to be met. The First tier Tribunal decided that it had been, contrary to HMRC’s views. The case therefore provides interesting insight into HMRC’s attitude to various aspects of such cases. To read more: click here