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Q&A: TOGCs and the UT decision in Royal College of Paediatrics

What was the background to this case?

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (the College) is partially exempt for VAT purposes. The College originally had premises in Hallam Street and it let surplus space to two charities with similar objects (A and B).

The College looked for new premises and wanted to buy a site at Theobalds Road (the property). The site was owned by Coleridge (Theobalds Road) Limited (Coleridge). Coleridge had opted the property and had historically let the property to tenants. At the relevant time no tenants were in place. However Coleridge was actually looking for tenants for the property. The College asked Coleridge if it wanted to sell the property instead of renting it out and Coleridge agreed.

A straightforward sale of the property by Coleridge to the College was VAT inefficient due to the option and the College’s partially exempt status. However...

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