Deans Court secures Court of Appeal ruling for HMRC

Manchester-based set Deans Court Chambers has won a unanimous Court of Appeal judgment that dismissed Midlands Co-operative Society’s claim that it was eligible for a VAT rebate.

Midlands argued that the co-operative, having taken over Leicestershire Co-operative Society, had a standing claim for the repayment of VAT under section 80 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994, which allows for the recovery of overpaid VAT.

The Court of Appeal, led by Lady Justice Arden, however, concurred with the original ruling that Midlands has to prove the regulations stated that the VAT payment should not be transferred. The court held that “the transfer of claims under section 80 was not permitted in the circumstances of this case”.

Kevin Prosser QC of Pump Court Tax Chambers was instructed directly as lead counsel for KPMG on behalf of Midlands. Craig Sephton QC of Deans Court led for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, instructed by the Government office.