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Matchmaking services provided to non-EU customers

06 December 2021
Issue: 4820 / Categories: Tax cases
Gray and Farrar International Ltd v CRC, Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber), 25 November 2021

The business provided an exclusive matchmaking service to clients in many countries. The owners argued that no VAT should be charged on fees to non-EU customers because their offering qualified as ‘consultancy services’ and ‘the provision of information’ under VATA1994 Sch 4A para 16(d) which enacted art 59(c) of the Principal VAT Directive.

Much of the work was carried out by one of the partners (CS). The taxpayer argued that she gave advice based on a high level of expertise – in effect a consultancy service. At the end of an interview process when the client’s needs had been established they would be given telephone numbers of potential matches - the provision of information.

HMRC argued that the services were not enough to be classed as consultancy and the advice supplied was ‘no more than could have been given by a concerned friend’. HMRC also pointed...

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