Summer 2006 Newsletter


Brave New World

Business Not Pleasure

Summertime Blues

All That Glitters...

Casting The Net

Trust Gordon?

It Ain't Over...

One In The Eye

Keep Your Nose Clean

Foreign Affairs

When Is A Car...

Don't Walk Away

Avoiding, The Issue

Brown Is Anti-PC

VAT's Up Doc?

Fuel's Gold

An Age-old Question?

That's Unfair!

Year In Year Out

How Hard To Try?

It's A Rip-Off!

Outlaws Win

Show Some Restraint

Not Our Problem

They Cannot Be Serious?


Pension Disappointments

Not Our Problem

A strange argument recently showed that you can't cut corners in VAT. A firm bought some cars from Germany to sell to UK customers via the internet. The German suppliers charged them German VAT, which they shouldn't do - the transport of the cars ought to be a zero-rated despatch of goods between two EU member states.

Instead of sorting the problem out with the German suppliers or the German authorities, the firm simply put the sterling equivalent of the German VAT in Box 4 of its VAT return. The European Commission is working on a system which will allow this, but it certainly isn't in place yet. Customs even offered to help them sort the matter out with the Germans, but the firm insisted that they ought to be allowed to claim it back in the UK.

Not surprisingly, the Appeal Tribunal held that they hadn't a leg to stand on according to the law. The proper course was to go back to the supplier with the right documentation and get a refund of the VAT. HMRC couldn't be made to pay.

If you incur VAT in other member states, it is possible to get it back - sometimes from the supplier, sometimes directly from the authorities in the other country. A small amount may not be worth the trouble of claiming it, but a substantial amount is. We can advise you on how to go about it.