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Coinstar v HMRC

In Coinstar v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 610 (2 September 2016) the FTT found that services which consisted of exchanging coins for more convenient vouchers were exempt under VATA 1994 Sch 9 Group 5 item 1.

Coinstar collected customers’ sterling coins in machines in supermarkets which issued cash vouchers that could be exchanged for cash at the customer service desk or used to pay for goods at the tills. The issue was whether (as HMRC contended) the services were standard rated as a ‘coin counting service’ or exempt (as Coinstar argued) as the exchange of one form of money for another.

Agreeing with Coinstar the FTT found that the service it provided was not a coin counting service but a service of exchanging a less convenient means of exchange into a more convenient one. The tribunal observed that customers would not pay the 9.9% charge simply to...

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