Court rules VAT online filing discriminatory
Three appellants supported by the Low Income Tax Reform Group (LITRG) have won their appeal against HMRC’s requirement that they file their VAT returns online.
First tier tribunal judge Barbara Mosedale held that the regulations which required online filing of VAT returns without providing exemptions for older people, those with disabilities or who lived in parts of the country which were too remote, were in breach of the appellants’ human rights and were unlawful under the EU law.
All three ran their own small businesses, two of which experienced disabilities which made it excessively difficult or impossible for them to use a computer, while a third lived in a remote area of the country where broadband access was absent or unreliable.
All three were of an age which made learning how to use a computer particularly difficult and they would have had to incur the cost of instructing an agent.
They had also all filed their VAT returns promptly and accurately on paper for many years.
Anthony Thomas, chairman of the LITRG, said...