Vat receipts please.

renod babek

Well-Known Member
I'd hate to be in Uber's shoes right now.

The claim we asked you to fund is progressing.

Back in June, very shortly after we completed our fundraising, we filed our Statement of Claim in the High Court. That claim was drafted by a QC and a Junior. We also filed a request for costs protection: we continue to believe that we will win but, as we explained here, we also have to address the fact that, if we lose, we will face a costs liability that could exceed £1m. We have addressed that possibility by asking the court to grant us costs protection and our application – for which we have engaged a different, specialist costs, QC – will be heard in November. Obviously we cannot control when the High Court has capacity to hear applications of this nature.

Just in case the court refuses the application it would be helpful to have an alternative claimant in reserve. If you know someone who is VAT registered, not wealthy, and is prepared to be a claimant please let us know. We can guarantee that person suffers no financial loss.

A new claim against Uber

In the meantime, we are, with no further funding, pursuing the same claim in a different way.

The basis for the original claim against Uber – the one you funded – is that Uber charged VAT on the fare for a taxi ride taken by our director, Jo Maugham. The consequence of our claim succeeding is that it must have charged VAT on all other Uber taxi rides – and that it must pay that VAT to HMRC, a bill which could easily exceed £1bn.

We are now also pursuing a different claim.

In our director, Jo Maugham's, VAT return for the quarter ending 30 June he sought to recover the £1.06 of VAT on that fare. As he explained here, if HMRC allows him to recover that £1.06, it will be accepting that he has paid £1.06 input tax to Uber and, implicitly, that it has to collect that £1.06 from Uber. And if that is true for his £1.06 it will also be so for every other £1.06 Uber has ever charged.

And if HMRC decides to refuse his claim he could have the chance to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) against that rejection and contend that, contrary to HMRC's decision, he has paid input tax to Uber. And if he won that appeal the Tax Chamber would be deciding that Uber had charged VAT and, implicitly, that it must pay that VAT to HMRC - along with all the other VAT Uber has charged its passengers.

In that appeal, Jo Maugham would be the Appellant, HMRC would be the Respondent and Uber would be grumbling in the back of the room. And, unlike in the High Court, in the Tax Chamber the loser doesn't have to pay the winners' costs.

In August, HMRC replied to Mr Maugham's VAT Return asking for more information and he wrote back in the following terms:

"I write further to my letter of 30 June 2017 and your reply of 7 August 2017.

"In your reply you say you are presently unable to exercise your discretion under regulation 29(2) Value Added Tax Regulations 1995 but invite me to submit further evidence.

"I attach for your information a letter before action to Uber London Limited (“Uber”) dated 21 March 2017 together with Uber's reply dated 3 April 2017.

"You will note from the correspondence that:

  • there is, and can be, no dispute about the fact of a supply of taxi services to me or the price I paid;
  • there is, and can be, no dispute that if the supply were made by Uber (a taxable person) the price paid includes an amount of input tax (corresponding to the amount of output tax for which Uber would on that basis be obliged to account for to HMRC); and
  • the reason why there is no VAT invoice recording VAT in the amount of £1.06 is simply that Uber denies that it has made a VATable supply: it says that it was its driver that made that supply.
"Given those facts (which are established by the evidence supplied with this letter and my letter of 30 June 2017) I can with respect see no basis for you to decline to exercise your discretion:

  • if you agree with Uber that the supply is made by the driver then the appropriate course is for you to raise an assessment against me under section 73(1) Value Added Tax Act 1994; and
  • if you agree with me that the supply is made by Uber then you ought to exercise your discretion to allow my claim for input tax.
"What would not be lawful would be for HMRC to leave this matter, and my tax liabilities, in limbo by declining to take, or unduly delaying, one or other of the above decisions.

"I await your further response."

We now wait to hear further from HMRC. When there is more news we will update you.


New Member
They will hardly withstand the heat..

It would all end up becoming a Russia/China case... where they lost out.