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30 April 2010
Issue: 4253 / Categories: Tax cases , VAT Services Ltd v CRC and another, Court of Appeal

The appeal concerned the VAT exemption in VATA 1994 Sch 9 Group 2 item 4 for the provision of services by an insurance intermediary. In each appeal the taxpayer claimed the exemption on the basis that its web-based service made it an intermediary.

The High Court allowing the taxpayers’ claims decided that the words insurance broker and insurance intermediary were interchangeable.

A broker was effectively an introducer who by dint of his relationship with two or more groups of people could put them in contact with each other with a view to forming a commercial relationship. HMRC appealed.

The Court of Appeal said that the insurance intermediary exemption had to be interpreted strictly but not narrowly.

The taxpayers in the instant case were providing services characteristic of an insurance broker or agent and...

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