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Is payroll closely connected to welfare work for VAT purposes?

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In Cheshire Centre for Independent Living, the taxpayer successfully recovered its costs from HMRC, despite conceding the case in the Upper Tribunal. The taxpayer conceded because of a new technical argument raised by HMRC on the appeal. HMRC argued that a ‘closely related’ activity could not be exempt unless the activity to which it was closely related was itself exempt. That argument was not properly tested, and it is potentially flawed. It conflates the language and case law relating to different exemptions. The differences in language mean that this case perhaps should have had a different outcome.

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