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Copthorn Holdings VAT decision – backdated VAT group registration

By November 16, 2015January 4th, 2018Uncategorized|VAT news

The following summarises the findings in our recent Tax Journal article on the implications of the Copthorn Holdings VAT decision which considered whether a VAT group registration application could be backdated.  Contact us if you would like more details or the full article:group

Speed read

In a recent case, Copthorn Holdings returned to the First-tier

Tribunal for a second time to challenge HMRC’s refusal to accept

a backdated VAT group registration. Following the taxpayer’s

initial success, HMRC was instructed by the tribunal to reconsider

its policy regarding when discretion might be exercised in this

area. e second appeal concerned HMRC’s continued refusal to

allow the backdating, even a€er its policy had been revised. e

tribunal found HMRC’s revision of the published guidance to be

a ‘cynical endeavour’, but its only option was to remit the case

back to HMRC for further consideration, with recommendations

regarding the scope of the policy. the case raises important

questions about HMRC’s approach to its published guidance and

how it should be held to account.