PEM VAT update - April 2024.

Article | Sarah Davis | 15th April 2024

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In every update, our VAT team brings you a brief summary of news from the world of VAT. This month we focus on items which will be of interest to anyone who…

Is an NHS Trust

The Court of Appeal has held that Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust was not acting as a taxable person when running hospital car parks and therefore no VAT is due on the parking charges. The Court decided that the Trust was acting as a public authority in providing hospital parking facilities and, as HMRC had failed to show that such treatment would be distortive, this meant that the income was not subject to VAT. HMRC is expected to appeal as there are numerous cases stood behind this decision with significant amounts of VAT at stake.

Doctor and nurses in discussion

Sells snack food

In Wm Morrison Supermarkets PLC, the First tier Tribunal has decided that ‘Nakd’ and ‘Organix’ snack bars are standard rated confectionary rather than zero rated cakes. It considered that the look, feel and taste of the products were the most important factors when reaching a decision. This case had been remitted back to the FtT after previously being considered by both the FtT and the Upper Tribunal. This is the latest in growing list of cases looking at the liability of snack foods and highlights how complex this area can be.

Is building their own house

The DIY housebuilder’s scheme enables people to reclaim the VAT incurred on the costs of building a house for private use. A claim must be made within 6 months of completing the building work. The Government has now announced that, following the digitalisation of the scheme, HMRC will be given additional powers to require evidential documentation in support of a claim.


People looking at building plans

Uses the VAT helpline

HMRC has u-turned on plans to restrict access to its VAT helpline to five business dates every month ahead of the filing deadline for VAT returns. The proposed move was intended to encourage taxpayers to use online services. However, in response to feedback, HMRC has immediately halted these changes whilst it considers ‘how best to help taxpayers harness online services.’

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This article was correct at time of publication.

About the author

Sarah Davis

Sarah is a Director in our VAT team. She is responsible for providing VAT & stamp duty land tax (SDLT) advice.