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Totel: pay now, argue later

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Appeals against assessments to VAT are only entertained on prior payment of the tax (subject to hardship). Although not unique to VAT, which is an EU tax, this requirement is not universal to all UK taxes. In Totel v HMRC, the Supreme Court considered whether the different regime that applies in relation to VAT constitutes less favourable treatment in contravention of the EU principle of equivalence. The court concluded that appeals against income tax, capital gains tax or stamp duty land tax assessments are not true domestic comparators to appeals against VAT assessments, which was sufficient to dispose of the appeal.
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