Andrew Macnab, representing HMRC, successfully defends the Rank Group’s appeal to the Court of Appeal against HMRC’s refusal to repay a £67m VAT refund
The Court of Appeal has dismissed Rank’s appeal against HMRC’s refusal to repay a £67m refund of VAT overpaid between 1996 and 2002. The Court upheld, on different grounds, the decision of the Upper Tribunal  UKUT 100 (TCC). The Court rejected Rank’s attempt to circumvent the 4 year limitation period that had time-barred its earlier claims for those sums, made in 2011 under s.80(1) VATA. In 2013, Rank made a new claim for a refund of those sums under s.80(1B), in combination with the set-off provisions of s.81(3) and (3A) and dicta in Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust Ltd v RCC  1 WLR. 3867. Rank argued that HMRC should have brought Rank’s out-of-time claim into account when calculating other, earlier, in-time s.80(1) claims; that, by failing to do so, HMRC had underpaid Rank £67m in respect of those in-time claims; and that HMRC’s underpayment of the £67m was to be construed as an overpayment by Rank of the same sum.
Andrew Macnab represented HMRC in the First-tier Tribunal, the Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
Read the full decision of the Court of Appeal.