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University of Leicester Students Union v Commissioners of Customs & Excise; CA 21 Dec 2001

References: Times 25-Jan-2002, Gazette 06-Mar-2002, [2001] EWCA Civ 1972
Links: Bailii
Coram: Lord Justice Peter Gibson, Lady Justice Arden, And, Mr Justice Morland
The student Union supplied soft drinks to students. They claimed this was closely associated with education and that activity was therefore exempt from VAT. The Union appealed a decision against them.
Held: The University charter did not provide for the Union to be part of its purpose. Though the Union was set up by the University, it was a separate body. The Union was registered for VAT in its own right. The directive sought to align exemptions, but the Union was not itself a body eligible for exemption. The supply of catering to students is a supply of goods or services ‘closely related’ to the provision of education, and student unions are an important part of university life, but they are not eligible bodies within the Act.
Statutes: Value Added Tax Act 1994 46(2), Council Directive 77/388/EC Article 13A
This case cites:

  • Applied – Commissioners of Customs and Excise v Pilgrims Language Courses Limited CA (Times 22-Aug-99, Bailii, [1999] EWCA Civ 1939, [1999] STC 874)
    A language school which sought to teach English was correct to include as part of that exempt supply, the cost of accommodation and catering. Transport to and from the airport and photographs necessary for the course were also exempt, being closely . .

Last Update: 01-Oct-15 Ref: 167212

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