Upper Tax Tribunal Confirms Catering Education as Exempt

The Upper Tribunal dismissed HMRC’s appeal trying to impose tax on supplies made at a catering college. In Brockenhurst College [2014] UKUT 046 the issue was whether HMRC could take tax from meals made by students at a catering college as part of their exempt catering education. The cooking and catering of meals was an integral part of the student’s catering education, with meals no offered to the general public but at near-cost to local people and groups on an events database. The Upper Tribunal confirmed the First-Tier Tribunal was correct that in law the catered meals were exempt as supplies closely related to the provision of exempt education. What struck me as a tax and VAT barrister was why HMRC pushed this so far. The meals were plainly a central part of the student’s education, just like a trainee hairdresser styling hair the purpose was education, which is tax exempt.

Eamon McNicholas
Tax Barrister, Accountant

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About Eamon McNicholas

Tax Barrister, Accountant www.EamonMcNicholas.com
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