HMRC v AXA UK Plc [2010] c-175/09

08 Nov 2010

The European Court of Justice (‘ECJ’) has recently handed down judgment in the AXA UK plc (‘AXA’) ‘Denplan’ case. The case concerned the VAT treatment of certain services provided by AXA to dentists as part of the Denplan dental scheme. Pursuant to the Denplan scheme, a patient typically is required to pay a monthly charge by direct debit to Denplan, for a particular level of dental care. Denplan acts as the dentist’s agent in receiving payments due to that dentist. Those payments are then transferred to the relevant dentist’s bank account less various deductions. This case concerned the deduction made from the patients’ payments representing the consideration for Denplan’s services in “collecting payments” for dentists, consisting in seeking payments from patients’ bank accounts via the direct debit system, and accounting to the dentists for them.