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HMRC v University of Huddersfield

In HMRC v University of Huddersfield [2014] UKUT 0438 – 2 October 2014 the UT found that the scheme implemented by the university was abusive.

The university had implemented a tax planning scheme to recover input tax incurred on the refurbishment of a building as the university made mainly exempt supplies of education. The university had set up a trust. It had then opted to tax the building and granted a repairing lease to the trust which had also opted to tax and granted an internal repair underlease to the university. The university then contracted with a subsidiary (which was not part of its VAT group) for the refurbishment of the building the subsidiary engaged contractors. On its VAT return the university declared a net VAT liability of £90 000. The refurbishment had cost £3.5m.

The case had been referred to the CJEU. On referral...

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