Argos Distributors v Commissioners of Customs and Excise: ECJ 24 Oct 1996

VAT was payable on the value of a discount voucher only, and not on the full price of the goods. ‘According to the court’s settled case law, the taxable amount for the supply of goods or services is represented by the consideration actually received for them.’ VAT had been charged on vouchers on a basis inconsistent with Community law. The reference raised no question about whether the same could be said about teacakes: ‘There is only one difference between the early vouchers claim and the [late vouchers and teacakes] claims; as regards the early vouchers claim, the national legislation itself contravened the Directive, whereas with respect to the other two claims that legislation was unimpeachable in itself but was misapplied. Yet the end result in the two instances was precisely the same: the Directive was breached . . ‘ and ‘It is manifestly clear from the documents before the court that, in regard to both teacakes and gift vouchers after August 1992, the commissioners applied national tax legislation in a manner inconsistent with the directive.’

Advocate General Geelhoed
Times 18-Nov-1996, C-288/94, [1996] STC 1359, [1996] ECR I-5311, [1996] EUECJ C-288/94, [1997] QB 499
Cited by:
CitedNell Gwynn House Maintenance Fund v Commissioners of Customs and Excise HL 15-Dec-1998
Trustees who managed a group of apartments argued that they did not themselves provide staff services to the tenants, but rather arranged for the staff to provide services to them.
Held: The contract providing cleaning and other services, by a . .
CitedLex Services plc v Her Majestys Commissioners of Customs and Excise HL 4-Dec-2003
When taking a car in part exchange, the company would initially offer the correct market value. If the customer wanted, the company would agree a higher price. When cars were returned, the company at first reclaimed the VAT on the re-purchase price, . .
CitedMarks and Spencer Plc v Customs and Excise HL 28-Jul-2005
The claimant had sought repayment of overpaid VAT, and the respondent resisted arguing that this would be an unjust enrichment. A reference to the European Court was sought.
Held: It was not possible to say that the House’s opinion was acte . .
CitedMarks and Spencer Plc v Customs and Excise HL 4-Feb-2009
The taxpayer requested refund of VAT overpaid on chocolate covered cakes. The CandE resisted saying that the money had been substantially already paid by its customers. The case had been referred twice to the ECJ, who answered that the maintenance . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

European, VAT

Leading Case

Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.161452