R (on the application of The Durham Company Ltd (trading as Max Recycle)) v Revenue and Customs Commissioners and another

Value added tax – Exemptions. The Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) (the tribunal) determined a preliminary issue regarding the taxpayer company's application for judicial review against the defendants, the Revenue and Customs Commissioners and the Treasury, concerning the lawfulness of VAT treatment, namely VAT exemption, being afforded to local authorities carrying out certain trade waste and disposal services. The tribunal held that, where a local authority was making supplies of trade waste collection services to business customers in its area and did so in the performance of its duties under s 45(1)(b) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the supplies were activities in which it was engaged as a public authority, within the meaning of s 41A(1) of the Value Added Tax Act 1994 and art 13(1) of Council Directive (EC) 2006/112. However, whether a local authority was, in fact, providing its commercial waste collection services under s 45(1)(b) of the 1994 Act was a matter to be determined on the facts of each case.

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