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HMRC v Sibcas

In HMRC v Sibcas [2017] UKUT 298 (24 July 2017) the UT found that the letting of temporary prefabricated buildings to a school constituted an exempt letting of immoveable property (Principal VAT Directive Art 135(l)).

Part of a secondary school had been condemned and temporary accommodation had been needed until more suitable permanent arrangements were made. Sibcas supplied a substantial two-storey temporary school building made of three interlinked blocks which was used for 32 months.

The issue was whether Sibcas’ supply was exempt as a letting of immovable property. The UT noted that a building will be immovable property if it is fixed to or in the ground. It added that the CJEU had not prescribed the circumstances in which a building is ‘fixed or in the ground’; and that the letting of a building may be immovable property even if the land on which the building stands...

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