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HMRC v European Tour Operators Association

In HMRC v European Tour Operators Association (Upper Tribunal – 26 October) an association of tour operators registered for VAT in 1991 and accounted for VAT on its membership subscriptions. In 2008 it submitted a repayment claim on the basis that it should have treated these subscriptions as exempt under VATA 1994 Sch 9 Group 9 Item 1(d). HMRC rejected the claim and the association appealed. The First-tier Tribunal allowed the appeal in principle (subject to agreement as to figures) but the Upper Tribunal remitted the case for rehearing. Henderson J held that the First-tier Tribunal had ‘erred in law when it directed itself that the primary purpose of the association was “what its directors and members consider to be the most important matter it is seeking to achieve or doing in return for membership subscriptions”. The relevant enquiry is an objective one to be answered primarily...

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