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Wilton Park, Secrets (Promotions) and others v HMRC

In Wilton Park Secrets (Promotions) and others v HMRC [2015] UKUT 343 (1 July 2015) the UT held that a commission charged by clubs paid by exotic dancers on the redemption of vouchers that had been purchased by patrons was for services which went beyond dealing with security for money.

The appellants operated table dancing clubs. The dancers were self-employed and paid a fee to gain entry to the clubs. Patrons that had run out of cash were able to purchase club vouchers to pay for the services of the dancers. The clubs charged the dancers a 20% commission on redemption of the vouchers.

The first question was whether the vouchers were ‘security for money’ (VATA 1994 Sch 9 Group 5 item 1) so that they were exempt from VAT. The UT held that the vouchers were given to the dancers by the patrons as ‘a...

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