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Tesco Freetime: rewards, Redrow and input VAT recovery

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In a decision which is now final, the Upper Tribunal has allowed Tesco Freetime to recover input VAT paid to third party providers of rewards to members of the Clubcard loyalty scheme, rejecting HMRC’s arguments that the payments made by Tesco Freetime represented third party consideration. The Upper Tribunal emphasised that economic reality was not the starting point for the analysis of whether there was a supply to the taxpayer, but rather an (important) overlay to the contractual position, and it endorsed the Redrow approach of considering things from the position of the person claiming the input tax deduction.

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