VAT Update - May 2014

Brief 14/14 VAT: Withdrawal of concessions for new student accommodation and dining halls

This brief highlights revised transitional rules for the construction of new student accommodation and new dining halls and kitchens for students and school pupils.

HMRC states that it 'has widened the transitional rules which determine which student accommodation buildings that are not complete as at 1 April 2015 can rely on the concession'.

There are a number of detailed requirements but, very broadly, the transitional rules apply if meaningful construction and first grant of a major interest has occurred before 1 April 2015. 


Notice 724A: Opting to tax land and buildings

This notice replaces the June 2013 notice of the same name. It has been updated for contact details.

Brief 19/14: VAT First-tier Tribunal decision on the UK's 'party-plan' derogation

Avon Cosmetics Limited First-tier VAT tribunal decision on the UK's 'party-plan' derogation concerns VAT on sales by non-VAT registered representatives, and HMRC’s view that these are 'at their open market value'.

The brief highlights that the case is being considered by the European Court of Justice.

Notice 708: buildings and construction

This notice replaces the October 2013 notice of the same name.

The notice has been updated for content in Brief 14/14 (see above), definition of a student and other sundry amendments.

Brief 20/14: high court judgment on interest payments for Littlewoods Retail Ltd

HMRC's position following the high court judgment in Littlewoods Retail Ltd and Others highlights that the high court found against HMRC and that Littlewoods’ claim for additional interest 'succeeded in full'.

HMRC has stated that it considers that there is not a clear basis of claim for others as there were "exceptional" circumstances specific to the Littlewoods claimants'.

The case concerns the adequacy of interest paid following repayment of overpaid VAT.

HMRC has stated that 'They [Littlewoods Retail Ltd and Others] then argued that the interest already paid to them was not adequate and that they were entitled to compound interest both as a matter of European Community law and also as a matter of English domestic law.'

HMRC is appealing the case, but if you have received interest on overpaid VAT you may wish to review this case.