Customs and Excise Commissioners v Diner’s Club Ltd: CA 1989

Where a payment is made by credit card, some form of underlying contractual scheme will pre-date any individual contract of sale. This may include not merely the contract between the card-holder and card-issuer, but also an arrangement between the card-issuer or acquirer and the store. In over-the-counter sales, the retailer commonly has no record of the customer’s address and no means of tracing the customer other than through the card-issuer; and it listed among the ‘normal features of credit card or charge card transactions’ that they ‘have come to be regarded as substitutes for cash: they are frequently referred to as ‘plastic money”. A credit card scheme ‘provides advantages for both seller and purchaser. The seller is able to attract custom by agreeing to accept credit card payment. The purchaser, by using the card, minimises the need to carry cash and obtains at least a period of free credit during the period until payment to the card company is due’.


Sir Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson


[1989] STC 407


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedRevenue and Customs v Debenhams Retail Plc CA 18-Jul-2005
The store introduced a system whereby when a customer paid by credit card, the charges made to them for card handling were expressed as a separate amount on the receipt. The store then said that VAT was payable only on the net amount allocated to . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.229022