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John Gerald Gray (t/a William Gray & Sons) v. Commissioners of Customs and Excise – Chancery Division

The issue in this case was whether one is required to use a forward looking approach to taxable turnover under paragraph 1(3) Schedule 1 VATA 1994 or use the benefit of hindsight. Both the Tribunal and the High Court took the view that a forward looking approach only was permissible. The High Court explained that to allow a taxpayer who failed to comply with the unequivocal rules set out in Schedule 1 of VATA 1994 would be to put that taxpayer in a better position than a taxpayer who had properly complied with all those obligations. Accordingly the appeal was dismissed.

Hugh McKay (instructed by HM Customs & Excise) for the Respondents

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