Natasha appeared for HMRC before the Upper Tribunal in these important lead cases addressing whether supplies could be treated differently for VAT purposes across the devolved nations. This judgment has important implications across the VAT sector.

The First-tier Tribunal previously held that UK VAT legislation, which exempted state-regulated commercial welfare providers, breached the EU principle of fiscal neutrality. This was because, when read in conjunction with devolved healthcare legislation, it resulted in private day care services being exempt from VAT in Scotland and Northern Ireland but liable to VAT in England and Wales.

The Upper Tribunal allowed HMRC’s appeals. It held that, to the extent there was a difference between supplies across the devolved nations, this was not caused by a lack of neutrality in the VAT legislation. It was instead caused by the fact that the UK had devolved regulation of the welfare sector and the devolved nations had made different decisions as to which services to regulate, which they were entitled to do.

Natasha Barnes was led by Jonathan Davey QC in this matter and a link to the judgment can be found here.