Natasha Barnes acted for HMRC in these appeals brought by a number of different branches of the YMCA. The Appellants entered into contracts with their respective local authorities to provide housing related support to young people who were homeless or at risk of homelessness, pursuant to the Government’s Supporting People Programme. The issue before the Tribunal was whether those services were properly considered to be ‘welfare services’ which were exempt from VAT.

The First-tier Tribunal agreed with HMRC that the Appellant provided exempt welfare services as those services were ‘directly connected with the provision of instruction designed to promote the mental welfare of distressed persons’. YMCA appealed but the Upper Tribunal dismissed their appeals concluding that the recipient of the supplies was not determinative to whether those supplies amounted to exempt supplies of ‘welfare’. The Upper Tribunal found there was no error of law in the First-tier Tribunal’s decision.

A link to the Upper Tribunal’s judgment can be found here.