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Nuffield Health - single composite or multiple supplies


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23rd May 2013

The eternal VAT question of a single composite supply or a multiple supply has once again reared its head, with Nuffield arguing that the supply of drugs and prostheses to patients should be considered an entirely separate to the supply of medical care that it provided to patients.

The majority of Nuffield’s case relied on prior case law, in the form of the Court of Appeal’s judgement in the case of Wellington Hospitals. However, subsequent case law (including cases presented before the European Court of Justice) has questioned the validity of the earlier decision in the Wellington case.

The Tribunal, considering the transaction as a whole, believed that there was no meaningful separation between the supply of the care elements of the service and the supply of drugs/prostheses (as a part of that supply). As such, Nuffield was providing a single supply of VAT exempt health care.

Rob McCann, a director of The VAT People, commented “Whilst this is a disappointing, although not unexpected, decision for Nuffield, it is a lead case behind which maybe another 200 cases stand. It is possible that we will see Nuffield appeal the decision and fight the case again at the Upper Tribunal.”

If you have clients who make supplies that that have a number of elements (which potentially attract different VAT rates) it is important to analyse the supplies carefully to identify the most appropriate VAT treatment.

About the Author

The VAT People are leading VAT and Customs Duty consultants based in the North West of England. We work with a wide range of businesses throughout the UK as well as assisting our accountancy colleagues to unravel the thorny VAT issues for their clients. We are one of the UK's largest and most comprehensive sources of VAT and Customs advice, our consultancy team having over 140 years of experience in VAT and Customs gained in either HMRC or a Big 4 accountancy practice environment.

Call us on our VAT helpline 0800 077 4604 to discuss. All initial discussions are free with no-obligation.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2013-05-28 12:03:58 in Tax Articles

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