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Were car boot sale events more than a passive supply of land?

21 February 2022
Issue: 4829 / Categories: Tax cases
Rufforth Park Ltd (TC8395)

The taxpayer had organised Sunday morning car boot sales for 40 years. They are held in a field and sellers are charged between £9 and £20 for a pitch depending on whether their vehicle is a car or van and whether they have an outdoor or covered pitch. There is no advance booking arrangement and sellers turn up on the day and pay their fee. Spaces are allocated on a first come first served basis. The field also has toilet facilities and a café selling basic refreshments.

The taxpayer treated pitch fees as exempt from VAT as a passive land supply (VATA 1994 Sch 9 group 1 item 1). It provide no extra services that could be considered to be subject to VAT to the sellers. However HMRC claimed that the reputation of the event the advertising to promote it on the internet...

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