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Associated Newspapers v HMRC

In Associated Newspapers v HMRC (TC03256 – 24 January 2014) the publishers of newspapers had sought to increase their distribution by offering retail vouchers to customers who had paid for daily delivery over a period of 12 weeks.

Under the VAT (Supply of Services) Order SI 1993/1507 art 3 the supply of free vouchers for purposes other than the purposes of the business triggers a liability to output tax (calculated by reference to the cost of the vouchers). The issue was therefore whether the vouchers had been supplied in furtherance of the publisher’s business.

The tribunal noted that the drafting of article 3 did lead to the suggestion that ‘if any such services are made available to customers for their personal use then by definition the taxpayer will have made those services available to the customer for use for non-business purposes (the non-business purposes of...

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