Following on from the submission of Fleming/Conde Nast VAT claims (the first anniversary of the 31 March 2009 deadline having now come and gone), the claims submitted on behalf of NHS bodies still appear to have a long way to go before they are settled.
At present, HMRC have stated that both the ‘Lennartz’ and ‘Wellington/BUPA’ elements of the Fleming claims are invalid. This is because in HMRC’s view, subsequent case law has meant that the decisions in these cases were either wrong or have been superseded.
HMRC invited CRS VAT Consulting along with other representative claimants to a meeting in London a few weeks ago to explain their decision on the Wellington/BUPA drugs issue with a view to finding some ‘common ground,’ however the obvious intention was to dissuade any claimant from taking the issue any further. It is however likely that at least one rejected claimant may submit a formal appeal to the VAT Tribunal.
Other elements of certain claims are still technically valid (e.g. prescription drugs, other drug sales, catering, etc), however HMRC have still not yet decided on the issue of whether the claimant Trusts or the SHAs have the right to pre-Trust claims. Until this issue is resolved, these elements of claims which are technically valid are also being held up.