UK: Weekly VAT News - 21/03/2011

Last Updated: 23 March 2011
Article by Deloitte Tax Group

Most Read Contributor in UK, August 2017

Parking enforcement on private land is subject to VAT

The First Tier Tribunal has dismissed an appeal by Vehicle Control Services Ltd, a company that manages and provides parking enforcement services in private car parks. The company argued that its charges imposed on motorists who contravened the parking regulations were outside the scope of VAT as being akin to damages for trespass or even, perhaps, as "fines" like those imposed in relation to on street and similar parking contraventions. The Tribunal disagreed, finding that the signage provided in the car parks made it clear that motorists parking there in contravention of the rules applicable were entering into a contractual arrangement for which the charges were (VATable) consideration. Moreover, as a matter of land law, the company had insufficient interest in the car park itself to claim damages for trespass, having being granted only the right to enter the car park to carry out its enforcement function. Accordingly, (and as indicated by the signage referred to in the Tribunal decision) the company's charges included VAT. For further information and to discuss the implications of the case, please contact Daniel Smith on 0207 007 0770.

EU Implementing Regulation adopted by the EU Council of Ministers

As expected, the European Council of Ministers formally adopted the EU's "Implementing Regulation" at the ECOFIN meeting on 15 March. The Regulation sets out rules for the implementation of the EU's Principal VAT Directive and Intra-Community VAT refund scheme, with the objective of ensuring better compliance with the objectives of the EU internal market. Whilst the Regulation comes into force (mostly) on 1 July 2011, since it clarifies the meaning of the existing EU VAT law, its provisions will be very influential before that date.

Bingo duty not chargeable on admission charges – as long as they are clearly disclosed
In its decision in the case of Cosmo Leisure Limited, the Tribunal has confirmed that, in principle, charges for admission to Bingo sessions are not subject to Bingo Duty. However, the Tribunal also confirmed that such charges have to be separately disclosed, rather than being merely included in the price charged for a bingo book. For further information, and to discuss the implications of the decision, please contact Barney Horn on 0121 695 5902.

HMRC on-line systems downtime between 2nd and 6th April

HMRC has announced (by way of an item on the HMRC website that appeared on 11 March) that its on-line services will be unavailable from Saturday 2nd April until 06.00 on Wednesday 6th April to allow for IT upgrades. All services will be affected including Corporation Tax, Self Assessment, PAYE and VAT. According to the information on HMRC's website, detailed information on timings is yet to be confirmed. Businesses planning to use these systems during this time (perhaps to file on-line VAT returns for the period to 28 February) will need to make alternative arrangements, possibly to file the returns on or before 1st April or by doing so on 6th or 7th April. HMRC may not accept that this planned system downtime would provide a "reasonable excuse" for failing to file returns in time.

Stay connected to the latest tax issues and strategies with Deloitte's Dbriefs webcasts

On 6 April 2011 at 12.00 noon, our live Dbriefs webcast series for tax professionals will cover Customs: A Tax Area Overlooked? Fernand Rutten and Stacey Winters will discuss the changing customs landscape and opportunities to improve compliance and maximise efficiency. To register for this webcast, please click here. On 13 April 2011, also at 12.00, the Dbriefs topic is The Future of VAT: Green Paper. Daniel Lyons, Rony Wuytjens and Rogier Vanhorick will consider the issues raised in the European Commission's Green Paper, discuss the potential impact on your business and consider how you can have your say in shaping the future of the VAT system. To register for this webcast, please click here. For more information please go to

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If you would like to discuss this further then please speak to your usual Deloitte contact.

This briefing note reflects the law in force as at 2 February 2011.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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