13 June 2018
Whether a land supply for VAT
The service involved not only granting a right over a specific part of the venue, but also agreeing to handle sales on behalf of absent dealers. An all inclusive charge was levied (although extra charges were levied for card payments) and that charge covered both the right over the land, and the selling service. HIMRC decided this was a single taxable supply. The landlord argued that it was a single supply which was exempt from VAT as predominantly a right over land.
The Tribunal disagreed with both parties, and said it was partly taxable (selling service) and partly exempt (a right over land).
This is a surprising result and it is likely that HMRC at least will appeal, since it goes contrary to their policy on a range of similar situations and there are no particular distinguishing facts which would mean that they could effectively ignore the decision.
The case has relevance to arrangements which are similar to antique centres, such as ‘shops within shops’ and small booths on shopping malls. However, they will only be relevant to those cases where a landlord, or its management company, also provides a hands-on service facilitating sales from those areas.
Anyone interested in pursuing the opportunity arising from this case should contact Graham Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 (0)20 7597 6112.