RCB/31/10 HMRC position following the Court of Appeal Judgment in Insurancewide and Trader Media Group
Revenue & Customs Brief, Issue 31. 3 August 2010
This Brief explains HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) position following the Court of Appeal judgment in Insurancewide.com Services Ltd and Trader Media Group Ltd (Case ref A3/2009/1300).
The Court of Appeal found against HMRC and upheld the decision of the High Court that certain supplies of insurance introductory services provided via the internet are exempt from VAT. HMRC are not appealing this decision further.
The appeals of Insurancewide (IW) and Trader Media Group (TMG) concerned the VAT liability of internet “click-through” services and whether introductory services such as these, that involve no intermediation of the contracts themselves, qualify as exempt insurance intermediary services.
The facts in each case were slightly different in that:
• IW was a comparison website providing “click through” services to insurer or broker websites, whereas
• TMG provided “click through” services from its Auto Trader car auction site to a 3rd party co-branded broker website
Both were paid commission on successful take-up.
IW lost its appeal at Tribunal as they were found not to be acting as an insurance agent at any time and appealed to the High Court. On the other hand, TM