In Lepton Service Station Ltd v HMRC [2016] UKFTT 144 (TC), the taxpayer appealed against HMRC’s refusal to allow pre-registration input tax. The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) allowed the taxpayer’s appeal and concluded that the VAT1 notes relating to voluntary registration are misleading.

In considering the correct date of registration, the FTT noted that the VAT1 notes relating to voluntary registration state that the applicant should enter the date from which he would like to register and that, if that date is earlier than the application date, it is no more than four years earlier. Paragraph 9 of Schedule 1 to the Value Added Tax Act 1994 provides that, “if he so requests”, HMRC shall register him from the date of application or such earlier date as may be agreed.

It is to be hoped that in the light of the FTT’s decision in this case HMRC will revise its forms and accompanying notes so that they accurately reflect the law relating to registration for VAT.

A copy of the decision is available to view here.