I love a good VAT case. It’s why accountants love Jaffa Cakes..and we love Spot The Ball…and we love marshmallows because they’ve all been at the centre of exciting VAT cases!

And now, we’ve found a new love with the help of a dating agency. Because, a couple of weeks ago, there was a big VAT court case that went all the way up to the Court of Appeal, over whether VAT should be charged by a dating agency.

This dating agency had been claiming they were providing a service equivalent to a consultant. Therefore, if they made sales outside the EU, there would be no VAT charged, as would be the case for any other service, eg accountancy.

But HMRC believed that this was not a service akin to accountancy or other consultants. Instead, it was a different type of offering, and one that should have VAT charged.

This went back and forth through different appeal courts, but a final decision was made last month that dating agencies are not like accountants and, therefore, must charge VAT on all of their sales, wherever their customer may be.

I must admit that I was wishing that accountants and dating agencies were similar when it turns out they were charging £120,000 to some people to fix them up with a date.

But, what this case shows once again is that VAT is a very, very complex tax. And, therefore, it’s always worth getting expert advice if you’re not sure whether you can charge VAT on your sales, or whether you can claim VAT on your expenses.

To help you, Sarah recorded, a couple of years ago, this handy video on how to know whether you do charge VAT on your sales.


And, you’ll be pleased to know that it was this sort of VAT chat on our first date that led to Louise marrying me!!

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Any questions?

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