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HMRC v RBS Deutschland Holdings GmbH

In HMRC v RBS Deutschland Holdings GmbH (ECJ Case C-277/09) a Scottish bank had a German subsidiary company (D) which was registered for UK VAT as a ‘non-established taxable person’. D purchased cars in the UK reclaimed input tax on them and leased them to UK customers. Although the cars were situated in the UK D treated their supply under UK VAT law as being a supply of services which took place in Germany where D had its business establishment.

The German authorities did not charge VAT on the basis that the lease of the cars was a supply of goods made in the UK. Consequently D did not account for output tax in either Germany or the UK. In 2003 Customs issued a ruling that D was not entitled to reclaim input tax on its purchase of the cars. The Tribunal allowed...

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