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VAT Focus — post-VNLTO

Speed Read: The authors consider that the ECJ decision in VNLTO was correct but that HMRC's response to it as set out in Brief 2/10 was not. They believe that it is possible to distinguish the VNLTO fact pattern from the facts applicable to the types of UK charities that have typically benefitted from using Lennartz. VNLTO acted in a commercial manner to promote the interests of the members who also funded VNLTO — therefore VNLTO's purpose in doing this was business as the ECJ concluded. By contrast charities using public money for the public good do not have a business purpose when they do this and so can meet the conditions to use Lennartz in respect of mixed use capital assets.
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