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Zipvit v HMRC

In Zipvit v HMRC [2020] UKSC 15 the Supreme Court referred four questions to the Court of Justice of the EU. It found that the meaning of ‘due or paid’ in article 168(a) and the requirement for a VAT invoice in article 220 of the Principal VAT Directive 2006/112/EC was not ‘acte clair’.

Zipvit supplies mail order vitamins and minerals. From 2006 to 2010 it used the services of Royal Mail. It negotiated its contract with Royal Mail and the contract provided for Zipvit to pay the commercial price for Royal Mail’s services plus VAT (if any). Royal Mail did not charge VAT on the services as it was believed at the time that its services were exempt within Directive 2006/112/EC art 132(1)(a). A subsequent judgment of the Court of Justice (TNT Post (Case C-357/07)) determined that the services provided by Royal Mail should have been standard rated. Following this judgment Zipvit made claims for...

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