On appeal from: [2016] CSIH 54.

This appeal considered whether certain claims for the return of overpaid VAT were to be treated as having been made by or on behalf of the ‘single taxable person’ constituted by the Taylor Clark VAT Group.

Held: it was clear from the Value Added Tax Act 1994, s 80 that HMRC’s liability for overpaid output tax is owed to the person who accounted to them for VAT. It is also clear that a claim must be made for the credit or repayment to that person before HMRC comes under any liability to credit or repay. It follows from the operation of s 43 of the Act that where the representative member has overpaid VAT, the person entitled to submit a claim during the currency of a VAT group, unless the claim has been assigned, is either the current representative member of the VAT group or a person acting as the representative member’s agent.

Claims made by Carlton were not properly regarded as claims made by Taylor Clark as representative of the VAT Group.  Carlton did not make the claims on behalf of  of the representative member. Inter alia, when Carlton made the claims, it had long ceased to be a member of the VAT group; and in each of the claims submitted Carlton was claiming repayment of sums paid from 1973, long before its incorporation in 1990, as well as in the period after 1990 when it was member of the VAT group.  Carlton did not act as the representative member’s agent. Carlton had no actual authority to send the letter on behalf of the representative member.

For judgment, please download: [2018] UKSC 35
For Court’s Press Summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing, please visit: Supreme Court Website (11 Apr 2018 morning session) (11 Apr 2018 afternoon session)