Your one-page November Indirect tax summary. With all things festive heading our way, let’s wrap up all the latest VAT updates


    • In Polo Farm Sports Club, the first-tier tribunal concluded that a payment in connection with a lease and leaseback for a sports facility should be treated as a premium and is therefore consideration. It should have been subject to VAT, and the tribunal dismissed the club’s appeal against an assessment. The payment and the grant of the lease were linked from a commercial and economic basis and the transaction was a package to be analysed as a whole. Interesting comments were also made by the Tribunal on protocol and ensuring the statement of case was relevant.
    • According to the CJEU in Dubrovin & Tröger, swimming lessons for children cannot be treated as VAT exempt as it is not included within “school and university education”. This decision may affect HMRC’s policy in this area and whether HMRC considers swimming as a subject ordinarily taught in a school or university.
    • The Upper Tier Tribunal decided in Mainpay Limited v HMRC supplies of GP specialists and consultants to an intermediary agency, which then supplied NHS trusts, were supplies of staff and not supplies of medical care, and subject to VAT at the standard rate. Grounds of appeal considering the purpose of the exemption and fiscal neutrality were dismissed. This is a notoriously complex area and the outcome depends on a lot of factors.
    • In Harley Scott Commercial Limited, it was held the supply of ‘Store Pod’ storage facilities (made with metal doors fixed to the floor and ceilings) is an exempt supply of land when not leased to the end user rather than a supply of storage facilities which is subject to VAT. It was clear that the exemption for self-storage facilities was aimed at a supply to an end user, not an investor wanting to generate passive rental income.
    • In Boehringer Ingelheim, it was said that the supplier can adjust the taxable amount when part of the consideration is refunded to a state health insurance agency based on the Elida Gibbs principles.
    • Germany’s time limit for VAT refunds is shorter than the UK, but the Court in E and Z (Germany) ruled that the time limits were compatible with the VAT Directive.


    • Guidance on how to pay Customs Duty, excise duties and VAT for businesses importing goods from outside the UK has been updated, adding sections for Postponed VAT accounting and Customs Declaration Service.
    • HMRC Guidance on the different simplified declarations for imports and what is required to obtain authorisation to use them has been updated with the addition of the section ‘aggregation of supplementary declarations’.
    • HMRC has published this brief confirming that the import of dental prostheses by, (or on behalf of) registered dentists/registered dental care professionals is exempt from VAT with retrospective effect, applying from 1 January 2021. Get in touch if you are affected as you can claim for imports between up to 27th October 2021.
    • HMRC have developed these leaflets for haulier managers and drivers who move goods between the EU and GB to explain the new rules they need to follow from 1 January 2022.
    • HMRC published information about changes to the way customs declarations are made, and how they’ll affect buying and selling goods between GB and the EU from the New Year.
    • This Guidance explains how to establish when you can and cannot move goods into or store goods in a Freeport customs site.
    • Information about how to adjust errors for import VAT has been added to the PVA Guidance.
    • Guidance related to the Trade Tariff tool to help classify your goods for Customs Duty and Import VAT purposes has been updated to include sending goods to an overseas customer using rules of origin.
    • This Guidance on the requirements to prove the origin of your goods if you are trading with a country that has a trade agreement with the UK or is covered by the Generalised Scheme of Preferences has been updated with (i) information about using the trade tariff tool to check which of the different types of proof of origin you need (ii) under the section about issuing green paper EUR1 and EUR-MED movement certificates
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