Court of Appeal dismisses Heathrow Airport Ltd’s applications for judicial review over VAT reclaim schemes


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The Court of Appeal (also constituted as the Divisional Court) has today dismissed applications for judicial review brought by Heathrow Airport Ltd and a number of other parties regarding the abolition following the expiry of Brexit transitional period of two VAT reclaim/exemption schemes, the VAT Retail Export Scheme and Extra Statutory Concession 9.1.

The schemes were said in particular to benefit airports, airside retailers, vendors of luxury goods and the wider economy. The Court rejected all of the grounds of appeal and judicial review advanced. The grounds included an alleged misdirection of law regarding the constitutional powers of HMRC to grant tax concessions, a misdirection of law regarding compliance with the unincorporated WTO General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 and a series of grounds directed to alleged inadequacies in the assessment of the economic impact of the decisions on tax revenue and affected sectors.

Eleni Mitrophanous QC, Raj Desai and Paul Skinner acted for HMT and HMRC.

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