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European Tour Operators Association v HMRC

In European Tour Operators Association v HMRC (TC03353 – 19 February 2014) the FTT had to decide whether membership subscriptions of a trade association constituted exempt supplies.

The case was remitted by the UT to the FTT. The UT had held that the FTT had been wrong to regard the ‘primary purpose’ test (for the purpose of VATA 1994 Sch 9 Group 9 item 1(d)) as a subjective one by reference to the views of directors and members. The UT held that the test was objective and required examination of the ‘stated objects and activities of the body in question’.

The FTT concluded from the evidence that the association had a predominant purpose providing a political lobbying body representing tour operators based in Europe. The FTT recognised that the association had other objects and carried out other activities; however ‘none of those constituted aims or purposes...

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