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VAT Focus — VAT on M & A Costs

Speed Read: HMRC has been challenging the recovery of VAT by companies who have to pay the professional costs of banks in M & A transactions. HMRC says that the House of Lords decision in Redrow Group does not support a culture of 'he who pays deducts'. In 2006 the Tribunal decided that Telent Plc had not received the relevant services so was not entitled to reclaim the VAT. But in 2009 the Tax Tribunal allowed an appeal by Airtours against HMRC's refusal to repay such VAT. This case has given those in dispute with HMRC new hope. Some companies may already have paid assessments incorrectly. These cases highlight a number of pitfalls and planning opportunities if VAT is considered at an early stage.
In view of the significant...

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