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HMRC v Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation

In HMRC v Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation [2020] UKUT 132 (TCC) the UT held that there was no direct and immediate link between the costs of staging an opera (‘production costs’) and the taxable supplies of catering made by the appellant during performances with the result that none of the input tax incurred on production costs could be attributable to those taxable supplies.

The appellant staged opera performances and received income in the form of ticket sales which was exempt from VAT. It also made taxable supplies of catering via on-site bars and restaurants before a performance and during intervals. The FTT had found that there was a direct and immediate link between the production costs and the catering supplies and consequently the appellant was entitled to recover a proportion of the input tax incurred on production costs. HMRC appealed.

The UT carried out an...

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