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Marcandi v HMRC

In Marcandi v HMRC (Case C-544/16) (7 March 2018) the advocate general thought that fees paid to participate in penny auctions were paid for services which were separate from the goods purchased in the auctions.

Marcandi operates an online shopping business under the name ‘Madbid’. Madbid sells mainly technology-related products such as mobile telephones tablets computers and televisions. It provides an online platform where registered users can participate in online penny auctions to bid for and win goods. Users buy ‘credits’ which allow them to place bids. These cannot be used to purchase goods directly from the Madbid shop nor be converted back into cash.

The issue was whether the grant of the right to participate in a penny auction in return for a bidding fee is a supply of services subject to VAT or a transaction which is...

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