On 8 September 2014 the Upper Tribunal4 confirmed that a claim for repayment of overpaid VAT must be made by the representative member of a VAT group.

Following changes to UK VAT law as it applies to supplies of gaming machines and bingo, the appellant’s VAT group became aware of a possible entitlement to make a claim for overpaid VAT under section 80 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994. The appellant, as representative member of the VAT group, failed to make any claims. However, another VAT group member, to whom the appellant transferred its business in 1990, but which then left the VAT group in 1998, made a number of claims for overpaid VAT.

The Tribunal held that as the section 80 claim must be made by the person who accounted for the VAT (the representative member) a claim by anyone else within the statutory time limit, even if they were a member of the same VAT group at the relevant time, was not sufficient.

It was also held (obiter) that on a transfer of business between members of a VAT group, a right to reclaim overpaid VAT was not transferred under vague words (“all other sums owed”) included in the defined list of transferred assets in the transfer agreement.

To view the decision, click here.