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Cheltenham College Enterprises Ltd v HMRC

VAT: Whether a 'substantial reconstruction'

In Cheltenham College Enterprises Ltd v HMRC (TC00429 – 31 March) a charity operated a boarding school. It owned a listed building which was used as a boarding house and which was in need of renovation. In an attempt to recover the VAT on such work the college granted a long lease of the building to a subsidiary company (E) in July 2005. E arranged for contractors to carry out substantial work at the boarding house. In March 2006 shortly before the completion of the work E leased the boarding house back to the charity. E then reclaimed the input tax on the construction. HMRC rejected the claim considering that the work had not amounted to a substantial reconstruction of the boarding house. E appealed. The Tribunal reviewed the evidence in detail and allowed E's appeal in principle ...

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