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Legal 500

01 April 2020

Zipvit Limited v HMRC; (SC)

The Supreme Court released its Decision in Zipvit Ltd v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

The case is a test case, concerning claims by trade customers of Royal Mail to recover input tax for supplies of postal services which were originally treated as exempt but which the Court of Justice later decided to be standard-rated.  The amounts involved are said to be between £500 million and £1 billion.
The Supreme Court decided that the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice (a) as to whether a taxpayer in such circumstances could claim to recover the tax and (b) as to whether a claim could be made where the taxpayer did not hold a valid VAT invoice, was unclear.
It also decided that, in such a case, the Supreme Court remained obliged, even after Brexit (but before the Implementation Date), to refer such cases to the Court of Justice for consideration.

Roger Thomas QC, instructed by Mishcon de Reya for the Appellant.

To see the approved decision, click here.