Natasha Barnes appeared on behalf of King’s Lynn Borough Council in this important appeal concerning the correct VAT treatment of pay-as-you-go car parking provided by local authorities. The pay-as-you-go ticket machines do not provide change and the issue was whether any ‘overpayment’ made by a driver represented part of the consideration for the supply of car parking and was therefore subject to VAT. Natasha, on behalf of the Council, argued that the First-tier Tribunal erred in law in concluding that any overpayment formed part of the consideration for the supply. In particular, the First-tier Tribunal’s contractual analysis was flawed in that it failed properly to reflect that the Council had no statutory power to charge more for the supply of car-parking that was set out in the tariff. The Court of Appeal’s decision in National Car Parks Ltd v HMRC [2019] EWCA Civ 854 was distinguishable on that basis.

A decision from the Upper Tribunal is awaited.