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— The Final Victory

 
Raymond Hill Barrister Monckton Chambers looks at the future of card handling schemes in the light of Debenhams
 
HM Revenue & Customs celebrated a major victory in its campaign against tax avoidance schemes on 18 July when the Court of Appeal decided in Debenhams [2005] EWCA Civ 892 that a card-handling tax avoidance scheme was ineffective to reduce Debenhams' liability to VAT thereby overturning the decision of the High Court in June last year [2004] STC 1132. Given that variants of the scheme have been adopted by another 70 major retailers the question is whether any of those schemes might still survive after the Court of Appeal's judgment.
The scheme
 
The...

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