Mirror Group plc v Commissioners of Customs and Excise, Cantor Fitzgerald International v Same: ECJ 9 Oct 2001

A potential lessee who did not have an interest in immovable property agreed to take a lease in return for money paid by the landlord. The transaction was not exempt from value-added tax under article 13(B)(b) as ‘the leasing or letting of immovable property.’ Nor did a person taking an assignment of a lease of the property for consideration paid by the lessee to him have an interest in immovable property at the time of the agreement, and his case did not fall within article either. In each case the agreement was a supply of services either to the Landlord or to the Assignor. ‘The principle of the neutrality of VAT does not mean that a taxable person with a choice between two transactions may choose one of them and avail himself of the effects of the other’. And ‘The court observes in that connection [the VAT system’s objective of ensuring legal certainty] that, to facilitate the application of VAT, it is necessary to have regard, save in exceptional cases, to the objective character of the transaction in question’.


F. Macken, President of Chamber and Judges N. Colneric, C. Gulmann, J.-P. Puissochet and R. Schintgen Advocate-General A. Tizzano


Times 07-Nov-2001, C-409/98, C-108/99, [2002] QB 546, [2001] STC 1453, [2001] EUECJ C-108/99, [2001] EUECJ C-409/98


Bailii, Bailii


Community Sixth VAT Directive 13(B)(b)




Appeal fromCommissioners of Customs and Excise v Cantor Fitzgerald International Admn 29-Jun-1998
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Cited by:

CitedCommissioners of Customs and Excise v Sinclair Collis Limited HL 7-Jun-2001
The appellants operated a system of placing their vending machines in clubs for the sale of cigarettes. They took as consideration a share of the profits of the cigarettes sold, and, in return, maintained the machines. They claimed that the machines . .
CitedSinclair Collis Ltd v Commissioners of Customs and Excise ECJ 12-Jun-2003
ECJ Sixth VAT Directive – Article 13B(b) – Exempt transactions – Letting of immovable property – Meaning – Cigarette vending machines installed in commercial premises.
The claimants installed cigarette . .
Appealed toCommissioners of Customs and Excise v Cantor Fitzgerald International Admn 29-Jun-1998
. .
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, . .
CitedCollege of Estate Management v Commissioners of Customs and Excise CA 11-Aug-2004
When offering courses to distance learning students, the College offered materials for the courses. As part of the course this supply would be exempt, as books, the supply would be zero-rated, but the taxpayer would be able to reclaim its VAT . .
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 . .
CitedClarence House Ltd v National Westminster Bank Plc CA 8-Dec-2009
The defendant tenants, anticipating that the landlord might delay or refuse consent to a subletting entered into a ‘virtual assignment’ of the lease, an assignment in everything but the deed and with no registration. The lease contained a standard . .
CitedPendragon Plc and Others v HM Revenue and Customs CA 23-Jul-2013
The Revenue had imposed a penalty on the appellants saying that their arrangement for the sale and VAT taxation of demonstrator cars was, in European law terms. The taxpayer sought re-instatment of the First Tier Tribunal judgment in its favour.
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

VAT, Landlord and Tenant

Updated: 04 June 2022; Ref: scu.166658