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Wakefield College v HMRC

In Wakefield College v HMRC (TC03108 – 6 December 2013) the issue was whether Wakefield College could benefit from charitable status for VAT purposes even though some of its students paid for courses. It was agreed that where students paid full fees they paid consideration for business supplies. However applying the de minimis principle this may not be fatal to the charity exemption. This depended on whether the part-paying students were also receiving business supplies.

The tribunal referred to Commission v Finland (C-246/08) as authority for the proposition that a payment for a service will only be subject to VAT if it is made pursuant to a reciprocal legal relationship (so that the service is for consideration) and there is a ‘direct link’ between the service and the consideration.

The tribunal concluded that in the present case as in the Finland case the level...

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