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UK confirms no EU VAT recovery without taxable supplies

  • VAT
  • 25 February 2013 | Richard Asquith

UK confirms no EU VAT recovery without taxable supplies

The UK has confirmed in a recent ruling that businesses not providing a taxable supply of goods or services are not entitled to recover VAT in costs.

The case concerned the holding company of British Airports Authority, which incurred professional advisory fees on the potential disposal of a subsidiary.

The Court of Appeal ruled that since BAA’s holding company was not performing an economic activity – providing a taxable supply – it was not entitled to recover UK VAT. This overturned the view of lower courts and tribunal that held the activities of the holding company were tied into those of the BAA, and therefore entitled to reclaim the VAT.


VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He is part of the European leadership team which this year won International Tax Review's Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.