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Zipvit Ltd v HMRC

In Zipvit Ltd v HMRC (Case C‑156/20) (8 July 2021) the advocate general (AG) of the CJEU suggested that recovery of VAT on postal charges wrongly treated as exempt from VAT would only be practically possible where the customer was in possession of a VAT invoice.

The Royal Mail had originally treated supplies of certain postal services to Zipvit as exempt from VAT. It subsequently transpired that these services should have been standard-rated. As the supplies were treated as exempt Zipvit was never issued with a VAT invoice. Nonetheless Zipvit argued that there was an amount of VAT embedded in the sum it paid to the Royal Mail which it was entitled to recover.

Whilst the Court of Appeal had held the absence of VAT invoice meant that Zipvit was unable to recover the VAT the Supreme Court subsequently (and prior to the end of the Brexit...

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