Commentary

V6.277 Other industry considerations

Part V6 Business by business

V6.277 Other industry considerations

V6.277 Other industry considerations

Single v multiple supplies

As in many industries an important consideration for businesses in the insurance sphere will frequently be whether goods and services provided are part of a single overarching supply or whether there are separate supplies of various goods and services. The importance of this consideration is underlined by many of the specific liability issues considered above. Detailed consideration of the principles to consider in determining whether a business is making a single/composite supply or multiple supplies is found in V3.105 and V3.106.

Of particular importance to the evaluation of this question in an insurance context is the ECJ's decision in Card Protection Plan Ltd v C & E Comrs (C-349/96). Card Protection Plan (CPP) provided an assistance package to customers to cover the risk of losing personal items – primarily their credit cards but also keys, passports etc. Included in CPP's service was an indemnity for fraudulent card use and other forms of assistance. The salient questions were whether CPP was making one supply or many, and what was the liability of the supply or supplies (ie was it providing exempt insurance, taxable “convenience” or a combination thereof). The ECJ held as follows—

  1.  

    (a)     every supply must be regarded as distinct and independent, and a supply which comprises a single supply from an economic point of view should not be artificially split, so as to distort the functioning of the VAT system. With this in mind, the essential features of the transaction must be

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