BB/12B/06 VAT—position following the Court of Appeal judgment in Compass Contract Services Limited
Business Brief, Issue 12. 21 August 2006
This Business Brief article explains the position taken by HMRC following the judgment of the Court of Appeal in the case of Compass Contract Services UK Limited (“Compass”) ( EWCA Civ 730), released on 9 June 2006. HMRC have decided not to petition the House of Lords for leave to appeal against the judgment of the Court.
All supplies of food and drink in the course of catering are standard-rated. Catering is defined (VATA 1994 Sch 8 Group 1) as including supplies of food or drink for consumption on the premises on which they are supplied (as well as hot take-away food), but it is not limited to such supplies.
Compass is a contract catering company that supplies food to staff working at BBC Television Centre. The VAT Tribunal found that the supply of cold food sold from Compass' retail outlets to those staff was zero-rated because there was no supply of catering and that the premises that Compass made their supplies from were the retail units occupied by them and not the whole BBC TV Centre site. The food was therefore not supplied for consumption on the premises on which it was supplied.
HMRC appealed directly to the Court of Appeal and its decision has addressed two main issues:
— The Court of Appeal
— “Catering per se”
The Court endorsed the approach set down in the Safeway Stores plc case (