On 14 January 2016, HMRC published Brief 3/16, in which it confirmed the launch of a consultation on VAT grouping provisions following the ECJ judgments in Larentia +Minerva and Marenave (C-108/14 and C-109/14) and Skandia (C-713).

In Larentia +Minerva and Marenave, the ECJ concluded that member states may only restrict VAT grouping to legal persons where those restrictions are appropriate and necessary in order to prevent abuse, avoidance or evasion. As a result of this decision, it is anticipated that there will be changes to UK law and VAT grouping provisions.

The government has launched a consultation to gather views on policy design, the impact of change and alternative approaches to develop the new legislation. They intend to use the consultation process to find out what businesses think about other grouping related matters, particularly those where the provisions differ across EU member states, as identified in Skandia [2015] EUECJ C-126/14.

The formal consultation period will last for 12 weeks. A summary of consultation responses is expected to be published during summer/autumn 2016.

Brief 3/16 is available to view here.