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Zipvit Ltd v HMRC referred to CJEU by UK Supreme Court

Posted on 1 April 2020

This morning the Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the case of Zipvit Limited v HMRC

The proceedings concern two main issues: (i) whether a trader can deduct input VAT in the absence of a VAT invoice; and (ii) whether EU law, which provides that a trader has an entitlement to deduct, from the VAT which he is liable for, the VAT due or paid on supplies which are carried out or to be carried out by another taxable entity, is applicable. This case relates to postal services supplied by Royal Mail to Zipvit, an online vitamins and supplements retailer.

Having considered the parties’ submissions during a hearing in January 2020, the Supreme Court has decided to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU").

The final judgment will have a far-reaching impact, not just for Zipvit, but for a multiplicity of other parties.  

HMRC estimate that the total tax liability in question is in the region of £1billion. 

Given the proximity of the UK's formal departure from the European Union, the case is set to represent one of the final referrals to the CJEU from the UK courts.

The team representing Zipvit Limited is led by Leslie Allen, Dario Garcia and Waqar Shah.

The full judgment can be found here, along with a video of the judgment summary. 

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