Fleming (T/A Bodycraft) v Revenue and Customs: HL 23 Jan 2008

The transitional rules introducing time limits for failing to deduct VAT inputs made insufficient allowance for the decisions in Marks and Spencer and Grundig.
Held: Lord Hope said: ‘To be compatible with EU law, taxpayers were entitled to be told in advance of any transitional arrangements that would enable them to submit late accrued claims for the deduction of input tax despite the introduction of the time limit. They were entitled to be given sufficient notice to familiarise themselves with the new regime, including the period of grace that was to be allowed for the submission of accrued claims during a transitional period.’


Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Carswell, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury


[2008] UKHL 2, [2008] 1 All ER 1061, [2008] BVC 221, [2008] Eu LR 455, [2008] STI 181, [2008] NPC 5, [2008] 1 WLR 195, [2008] BTC 5096, [2008] 1 CMLR 48, [2008] STC 324




Value Added Tax Act 1994, Value Added Tax Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/2518).


England and Wales


CitedMarks and Spencer plc v Commissioners of Customs and Excise ECJ 11-Jul-2002
The claimant challenged the reduction of the limitation period from six years to three for the reclaiming of overpaid VAT with immediate effect, depriving it of the opportunity to recover sums paid in excess. The company sold vouchers. It paid VAT . .
CitedGrundig Italiana SpA v Minstero delle Finanze ECJ 24-Sep-2002
Europa Internal taxes contrary to Community law – Recovery of sums paid but not due – National legislation retroactively reducing time-limits for bringing proceedings – Compatibility with the principle of . .
At VDTFleming (T/A Bodycraft) v Customs and Excise VDT 23-Apr-2004
VDT INPUT TAX – whether claim made in 2000 for input tax for 1989 and 1990 for which no tax invoice was issued was part of a claim made in 1993 – no – whether the 2000 claim was prevented by the 3 year cap . .
At ChDFleming T/A Bodycraft v Commisioners of Customs and Excise ChD 25-Feb-2005
Appeal against dismissal of the Appellant’s appeal from the decision of the Commissioners of Customs and Excise to refuse to repay to the Appellant input tax on three new Aston Martin motor cars out of a batch of thirteen such cars purchased by the . .

Cited by:

CitedRevenue and Customs v The Investment Trust Companies SC 11-Apr-2017
Certain investment trust companies (ITCs) sought refunds of VAT paid on the supply of investment management services. EU law however clarified that they were not due. Refunds were restricted by the Commissioners both as to the amounts and limitation . .
CitedLittlewoods Ltd and Others v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs SC 1-Nov-2017
The appellants had overpaid under a mistake of law very substantial sums in VAT over several years. The excess had been repaid, but with simple interest and not compound interest, which the now claimed (together with other taxpayers amounting to 17 . .
CitedRevenue and Customs v Taylor Clark Leisure Plc SC 11-Jul-2018
Several companies within a group paid VAT. Later the basis of charge to output VAT was revised, and a reclaim became due, but the VAT group had been dissolved. Could the appellant, former lead within the group now make the reclaim.
Held: . .
CitedPrudential Assurance Company Ltd v Revenue and Customs SC 25-Jul-2018
PAC sought to recover excess advance corporation tax paid under a UK system contrary to EU law. It was now agreed that some was repayable but now the quantum. Five issues separated the parties.
Issue I: does EU law require the tax credit to be . .
CitedFMX Food Merchants Import Export Co Ltd v Revenue and Customs SC 29-Jan-2020
This appeal concerns the meaning and effect of the phrase ‘Customs Debt’ in article 221(4) of the former Customs Code of the EU, contained in Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92. Customs duties may be due under ‘post-clearance demands’ and the Court . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

VAT, European

Leading Case

Updated: 27 May 2022; Ref: scu.263817