ON APPEAL FROM THE UPPER TRIBUNAL
TAX AND CHANCERY CHAMBER
The Hon Mr Justice Warren and Judge Colin Bishopp
 UKUT 0090 (TCC)
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE FLOYD
LORD JUSTICE SALES
| BRATT AUTOSERVICES COMPANY LIMITED
|- and -
|THE COMMISSIONERS FOR HER MAJESTY'S REVENUE AND CUSTOMS
Mr Raymond Hill (instructed by The General Counsel and Solicitor to HM Revenue and Customs) for the Respondent
Hearing date: 1 May 2018
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Floyd:
"(1) Where a person
(a) has accounted to the Commissioners for VAT for a prescribed accounting period (whenever ended), and
(b) in doing so, has brought into account as output tax an amount that was not output tax due,
the Commissioners shall be liable to credit the person with that amount
(2) The Commissioners shall only be liable to credit or repay an amount under this section on a claim being made for the purpose
(3) It shall be a defence, in relation to a claim under this section by virtue of subsection (1) that the crediting of an amount would unjustly enrich the claimant.
(4) The Commissioners shall not be liable on a claim under this section -
(a) to credit an amount to a person under subsection (1) above if the claim is made more than 3 years after the relevant date
(4ZA) the relevant date is -
(a) in the case of a claim by virtue of subsection (1) above, the end of the prescribed accounting period mentioned in that subsection
(6) A claim under this section shall be made in such form and manner and shall be supported by such documentary evidence as the Commissioners prescribe by regulations; and regulations under this subsection may make different provision for different cases.
(7) Except as provided by this section, the Commissioners shall not be liable to credit or repay any amount accounted for or paid to them by way of VAT that was not VAT due to them."
"A claim under section 80 of the Act shall be made in writing to the Commissioners and shall, by reference to such documentary evidence as is in the possession of the claimant, state the amount of the claim and the method by which that amount was calculated."
The FTT decision
The UT decision
"It is clear that sub-s (1) is directed at an amount for which the taxpayer has accounted as output tax but which was not output tax due for a single prescribed accounting period. It is impossible to read the subsection in any other way. Subsection (2) then provides for a claim for repayment of "an amount under this section"; we agree with [counsel for HMRC] that the "amount" referred to here must be the same "amount" as is mentioned in sub-s (1). Thus the taxpayer must comply with sub-s 80(6) and reg 37 in respect of each period." (emphasis supplied)
"The claim may be, but is not necessarily, the final answer; it is no more than a claim. It will in many cases only be the start of a process during which further information will be provided and further analysis will be undertaken. There is no warrant for the imposition of additional hurdles to those within reg 37."
"(1) A taxable person shall
(a) in respect of supplies made by him, and
(b) in respect of the acquisition by him from other member States of any goods,
account for and pay VAT by reference to such periods (in this Act referred to as "prescribed accounting periods") at such time and in such manner as may be determined by or under regulations and regulations may make different provision for different circumstances.
(2) Subject to the provisions of this section, he is entitled at the end of each prescribed accounting period to credit for so much of his input tax as is allowable under section 26, and then to deduct that amount from any output tax that is due to from him.
Many provisions in the Act beyond section 25 and 80 utilise the concept of the prescribed accounting period.
"30. There is no statutory definition of "claim" for the purpose of s. 80 that would provide a basis for distinguishing an amendment to an existing claim from a new claim
31. In those circumstances, I consider that "claim" should here be given its ordinary meaning. In this context, it means a demand for repayment of overpaid tax. It may relate to one accounting period or many, to one particular supply or many, and to a part of the taxpayer's business or the whole of its business. There is no reason, in my view, why any of these cannot constitute a self-standing claim."
Lord Justice Sales:
Lord Justice McFarlane: