Jolyon Maugham v Uber

Les Howard
VAT Consultant
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Jolyon Maugham of the Good Law Project has helpfully published his Grounds of Appeal in relation to HMRC’s refusal to allow his input tax claim of £1.06. It is well known that this is the small tip of a very large iceberg.

Para 5 of the Grounds go right to the heart of the matter; “Who is making the supply?”

A key part of the argument is the findings of the Employment Tribunal (ET), and the approval of that decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). Paras 27-29 provide extracts from the decisions.

Assuming the matter does proceed to the First Tier Tax Tribunal, a key question will be the extent to which the Tax Chamber is bound by the EAT. Ideally, of course, different Tribunals should have a degree of consistency. (I notice that Uber sought to argue VAT case law at the EAT.)

Jolyon Maugham annexed his correspondence with HMRC. Their decision, dated 7 August 2017 and upheld on 6 November 2017, was that they cannot exercise their discretion to allow input tax because the document was not a valid VAT invoice.

HMRC have power to exercise their discretion precisely because the claimant does not have a valid VAT invoice.

Further, in upholding the decision, the Customs and Indirect Tax Directorate concluded that the documents provided did not demonstrate that VAT was charged or was payable. No analysis of those documents was provided. One hopes that HMRC’s Statement of Case WILL give an analysis of why the claim was rejected.

The link to the material is here:

About Les Howard


Hi, I am a VAT Consultant, working mainly with charities. I am based in Cambridgeshire

I have over 20 years experience in VAT, and am currently also a part-time member of the Tax Tribunals.


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