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T Gardarsson t/a Action Day a Islandi v HMRC

In Thorsteinn Gardarsson t/a Action Day a Islandi  v HMRC [2020] UKUT 99 (TCC) (31 March) the Upper Tribunal held that ‘an action day planner’ was not a zero-rated book for VAT purposes. 

Mr Gardarsson sold action day planners via Amazon to customers in the UK. These planners were described as a time management tool. They combined 16 pages of text setting out a time management ethos with the remainder of the book taken up by 52 double page planners. The double page planners were set out in the methodology advocated in the 16 pages of text. This included space set out for ‘tasks to execute’  ‘delegation and teamwork’ a column for each day of the week  and “goals and projects I am going to work on this week”.  

In Mr Gardarsson’s view the product fell within VATA 1994 Sch 8 Group 3 item 1 (the zero-rating for books  booklets brochures pamphlets and leaflets). This view was challenged by HMRC which argued that the action day planner was not a book for VAT purposes. Mr Gardarsson had successfully argued his case at the First-tier Tribunal but HMRC now appealed the decision to the Upper Tribunal.  

The UT found that...

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