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The Big Moneyspinner

17 January 2002 / Neil Warren
Categories: Comment & Analysis , VAT
NEIL WARREN looks at the role of VAT professionals in devising avoidance schemes, and Customs' response to the potential VAT loss

TAX LITIGATION IS expensive. But equally a VAT loss to the Treasury caused by a key point of principle going against Customs in a court of law can be just as costly.

In footballing terms the stakes are high. The game is played at a fast and furious pace between eager tax advisers trying to save big sums of money for clients and a Government department desperately trying to maintain both the VAT yield and integrity of a tax which is the Chancellor's second largest source of income.

Which team is winning? Is there a chance of calmer waters in the future or will the profession witness an ever-increasing number of appeals and counter- appeals on key issues of VAT?


When VAT was introduced in 1973 it was described in Parliament as 'a simple tax'. The last 28 years have shown...

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