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Offshore avoidance: VAT dragged into the spotlight

HMRC has been quick to respond publicly to the judgment of the CJEU in Newey (t/a Ocean Finance). But the judgment might not be as beneficial to HMRC as the department suggests.

There has been much recent publicity about using offshore locations to reduce tax. VAT avoidance deploying offshore arrangements has not had as much profile. A case of note however is Newey (t/a Ocean Finance) (C-653/11) where an operation was transferred to Jersey to save VAT. On 20 June the CJEU provided its guidance as to the importance of contractual terms in such a situation. This was reported in this journal (see ‘Ocean Finance: Economic and commercial reality’ (Anbreen Khan & Emma Hughes)). My comment relates to HMRC’s own follow-up on that decision in Revenue & Customs...

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