RCB/43/11 VAT—withdrawal of Extra Statutory Concession 3:16 – first time connection to the gas or electricity mains supply
Revenue & Customs Brief, Issue 43. 8 December 2011
On 13 December 2010, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) announced its intention to withdraw Extra Statutory Class Concession 3:16 relating to first time connection charges to the gas or electricity mains supply, with effect from 1 January 2012 (see Technical note on Withdrawal of extra statutory concessions (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/menus/extra-stat-con-tn.pdf)).
The purpose of this Brief is to remind taxpayers about the forthcoming change and to clarify the effect of the timing of invoices and payments on whether the concession applies.
Gas and electricity suppliers, independent connection providers.
To be aware of the withdrawal of the concession and the related time of supply issues.
Reason for withdrawal
The House of Lords' decision in the Wilkinson case clarified the scope of HMRC's administrative discretion to make concessions that depart from the strict statutory position. HMRC is reviewing its concessions in light of this decision. The majority can remain as they are, but those that go beyond the scope of HMRC's discretion will be either legislated to preserve their effect or withdrawn.
After taking legal advice, HMRC has concluded that concession 3:16 is beyond the scope of its discretion to make concessions. EU law does not permit the UK to introduce new legislation to preserve the effect of the concession; therefore it needs to be withdrawn.
Background to the concession
Before 1 April 1994, the supply of gas and electricity for domestic or