Composite Supplies at Separate Rates: Colaingrove Ltd v HMRC

26 Apr 2013

This case note was first published in De Voil Indirect Tax Intelligence.

In the 1990’s VAT practitioners learned that multiple elements of a supply could be taxed as one composite supply; all that was required was that the principal supply be for the better use and enjoyment of the principal supply. Then, in the first decade of this millennium we learned that a composite supply could exist without principal and ancillary elements: they could be “economically indivisible”. Then, last year, in its Judgment in Deutsche Bank the ECJ identified a new sub-category of composite supply: one where the elements are economically indivisible but where there is no predominant element. So, it seems until recently there were three different types of composite supply: the CPP composite supply; the Levob composite supply and the Deutsche Bank composite supply. In Colaingrove Ltd v HMRC [2013] UKFTT 116 (TC) the Tribunal did not identify a new category of composite supply but it did redefine what it means to be a composite supply.