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Payment of VAT on appeals and the ‘financial extremity’ test

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The Snow Factor case is the first time the Upper Tribunal (UT) has considered the ‘financial extremity’ test, which governs whether disputed VAT must be paid before a UT appeal can be entertained in a case where the FTT has ruled in HMRC’s favour. The judge confirmed that ‘financial extremity’ is more onerous than the ‘hardship’ test that applies before an FTT hearing. He also highlighted that the UT test is forward looking, whereas the FTT test looks at the immediate position; and said that the FTT test looks only at the taxpayer’s financial position, whereas other group companies may be relevant to the UT test.

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