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Is VAT Avoidance Dead?

John Davison Indirect Tax Partner Grant Thornton Sydney looks at where things stand with regards to VAT avoidance
Given the recent decisions in WHA Ltd & Another v HMRC [2007] EWCA Civ 728 and Lime Avenue Sales and Services Ltd 20140 it may be thought that VAT avoidance is dead. The principles in Halifax plc v CCE C-255/00 [2006] 2 WLR 905 would seem to indicate that it will be difficult for an avoidance scheme to have 'legs'. Two important points arose from Halifax: that an avoidance scheme can be economic activity but that it can also be an abuse. For there to be an abuse a tax advantage accrues that is contrary to the intention of the EU legislation and the essential aim of the transaction...

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