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M&A input tax recovery by holding companies: an elementary issue?

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VAT recovery in relation to corporate acquisitions has been a challenging issue across the EU for many years. The recent case of Magyar Villamos Müvek (MVM) (Case C-28/16) confirmed that input tax may still not be reclaimable by a group holding company, even when it appears to carry on economic activity by being actively involved in the management of its subsidiaries. HMRC, which intervened in the MVM case, has now released an update to its draft guidance on the UK VAT position of holding companies. These developments illustrate the need for taxpayers to take practical steps to ensure they mitigate potential VAT costs on acquisitions.

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