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French Connection v HMRC

In French Connection v HMRC [2015] UKFTT 173 (23 April 2015) the FTT found that free supplies of clothes to staff were taxable.

French Connection provided staff members with a clothing allowance for each season to enable them to choose items from the company’s stock which they must wear when working. It appealed against HMRC’s decision that the provision of clothing to staff was a taxable supply under VATA 1994 Sch 4 para 5 which treats the disposal of ‘goods forming part of the assets of a business’ as a supply of goods.

The FTT rejected arguments that Article 16 of the Principal VAT Directive pointed to an exemption from the above charge in circumstances where the goods were provided for the purpose of the business. The FTT added that whether or not the clothes were uniforms the passing of their ownership to staff was a...

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