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Minutes of the 73rd JVCC meeting held on Friday 8 May 2009

HMRC Reference: JVCC No 2


1 Agenda Item 1 - Introductions and apologies - Jim Harra

2 Agenda item 1 – minutes of the last meeting, review of action points, matters arising - Jim Harra

3 Agenda item 3.1 - Service Standards - VAT Registration Update - Andrew Bryant

4 Agenda item 4 - Cross Border VAT changes 2010 - Joan Gay, Colin Wilson, Andrew Webb

5 Agenda item 5 - VAT rate change - Jack Fletcher, Ian Stewart

6 Agenda item 6 - Extra Statutory Concession 3.5 - misdirection - Pete Woodham

7 Agenda item 7 - Carter Programme - Stephen Banyard Judith Pattison Mark Holden

8 Agenda item 8 - any other business - Jim Harra

Appendix A

Appendix B


11.00 - 15.00 in Room G16
1 Horse Guards Road

1 Agenda Item 1 - Introductions and apologies - Jim Harra

1.1 JH commenced the meeting by asking attendees to introduce themselves and the organisation or HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) work area which they represent. JH advised the meeting that NS would be moving to other duties and that SS would be taking over from the next meeting. He thanked NS for her sterling work in supporting JVCC.

A list of attendees and apologies is at Appendix A.

2 Agenda item 1 – minutes of the last meeting, review of action points, matters arising - Jim Harra

2.1 The minutes of the 20 January 2009 meeting were agreed. JH confirmed that the minutes had now been published on the Internet.

2.2 NS gave an update on all outstanding action points and outlined the current position on:

AP 17/07 – The external evaluation of the Customer Relations Managers for agents (CRMs – working in HMRC’s Customer Operations area) pilot has been completed. HMRC will retain CRMs in their existing locations in the short term while continuing to assess the case for a wider roll out. HMRC is also looking at the level of expertise required to deliver this service. The evaluation of the AAM role recognised the added value that the proactive support to agents had provided and the ability of AAMs to resolve problems where other avenues had not been successful. HMRC’s intention is to increase the number of AAMs and achieve a full geographical spread of AAMs when they are all in post.

AP discharged

AP22/08 – EC proposals were published on 28 January and the first meeting of the invoicing subgroup was held on 8 April 2009. John Brandwood expressed thanks to the JVCC members who took part in this. The meeting established a shared analysis of the key issues and problems to be addressed which will be helpful as negotiations proceed. A summary of the discussions from this meeting will be added to the JVCC website shortly. The sub group will meet periodically as the discussions and negotiations on the proposals develop.

AP discharged.

AP 10/09 – Updated information about the VCU address for returns and cheques is now on the HMRC website and shows an address for postal deliveries and one for courier deliveries. The Aberdeen unit is adding 'UK' to the reply envelopes for overseas businesses and Banking has taken up the problems relating to postal deliveries with Royal Mail. If members have any further examples of items unable to be delivered to VCU, they should send them to SS.

AP discharged.

An updated list of action points is included at Appendix B.

There were no matters arising.

3 Agenda item 3.1 - Service Standards - VAT Registration Update - Andrew Bryant

3.1 AB reported that the departmental objective for registration applications for 2008-09 was to process 70 per cent of applications within 13 days: the outcome was 74.86 per cent processed within that time. There have been delays in processing those applications which require further checks and the average time for these applications rose to 70 days in March. Additional staff have been brought in to deal with the checks and the objective to catch up by the end of April has been met. Staffing for registration processing is now stable and the small number of temporary staff based at Wolverhampton have had their contracts extended to 30 June 2009. Additional telephone lines have also been installed at Wolverhampton in response to concerns from JVCC members and others.

3.2 CS reported that applications that need further enquiry are reportedly taking up to 16 weeks. AB said that the informal target for the average target time taken to process these cases (50 days) was met until January and while it rose in February and March, it is now decreasing and will continue to do so. JH said that some exceptional cases may take longer but the average is as we have stated. JH also acknowledged that there had been additional delays between February and April but this is improving as we have put more resource into it.

3.3 IH suggested that we need a communication to tell people why there is a delay rather than merely saying there is a delay. He spoke of one case that took five months to register a company to pay £300,000 tax from a reverse charge transaction. AB undertook to review communications, but recognised that HMRC had communicated with JVCC members in early March to advise on the delays with cases going for further checks. Further to this a letter has been issued to each customer when their application is referred for further checks, also since March. AB recognised the potential for possibly updating the customer when their application went in to a specialist area but this would have to take account of resource implications.

3.4 AB advised that HMRC is still receiving pre-2006 VAT 1 forms which cannot be processed now. He urged the JVCC to ask members of their organisations to destroy these forms securely as they can no longer be accepted. 20 per cent of applications require further information and the most common omissions are: telephone numbers, bank details, turnover details and the capacity in which the form is signed.

3.5 There are now only three days of unstarted deregistration cases and less than 5 days of unstarted variation cases. This is a much improved position from recent months. GR raised the prospect of a large number of new applications around the calendar year end under the supply of services changes (from the VAT Package). HMRC needs to take that into account when profiling work and staffing. JD confirmed that this is within the relevant project.

3.6 AMcD said that there appear to be problems with registrations which also have Option To Tax (OTT) implications. There seems to be a lack of communication between the units handling these and clients are getting multiple requests for documents and forms. There are also problems with the telephone numbers given. AB is aware of these problems and will be reviewing examples of registration cases supplied by RK which include some relating to land with OTT implications. His review will cover the process and links to the unit dealing with OTT.

3.7 RK acknowledged that there is a tendency to only advise HMRC about poor service and he will also try to advise HMRC of good service too. He also raised an issue about 64-8 forms being sent to Wolverhampton which do not seem to be getting onto the system.

AP 11/09 – AB to review the registration process where there are OTT implications, in particular liaison with the unit dealing with the OTT.

AP 12/09 – AB to review communications about delays in registration processing.

3 cont. Agenda item 3.2 - Service Standards - VAT Written Enquiries - update - Ann Ling

3.8 AL reported that her team is working with Emma Cartledge (EC) in Central Policy on current guidance on enquiries and clearances. The original approach was to amalgamate COP 10 and Notice 700/06, but that proved problematic and EC is now looking at a whole new form of guidance which will incorporate content from the previous notices. EC is also liaising with those working on the Taxpayer’s Charter to ensure that work is consistent. EC would welcome comments from JVCC members about the guidance and this should be sent directly to her and copied to SS.

3.9 The Business Customer Unit (BCU) has also been carrying out an independent review of clearances to ascertain if applications have been accepted or rejected in line with guidance and also to assess the response, ie the quality and tone of it. The number of VAT clearances being rejected is higher than for other taxes and HMRC is looking into the reasons for this. Some issues have already been identified and are being addressed.

3.10 The VAT Written Enquiries Team (VWET) is currently experiencing a substantial increase in enquiries. This is being analysed at present to ensure that the staff have the right skills to deal with the topics raised.

3.11 ST and RK are awaiting examples from their members of replies to enquiries which they consider are not satisfactory. They will send these to HMRC in due course. ST will also be writing an article on enquiries/clearances for his organisation’s in-house magazine and he will let HMRC have a draft of that too.

3.12 IH and GR raised queries on the legal standing of HMRC responses in particular whether NAS gives advice or simply refers customers to notices. RK said that customers cannot rely on written advice from HMRC because taxpayers have lost two judicial reviews when they had acted on it. JH said that the purpose of a clearance is to give certainty but that we can only act within HMRC’s legal powers. JH asked to be advised of any cases where HMRC has drawn back from a clearance.

3.13 There was wide agreement among JVCC members that the problems regarding unsatisfactory replies stem from HMRC’s policy, which is not very customer focussed, rather than with staff at VWET. AN said the problem is not whether an issue is covered in guidance or notices but that customers do not understand these in some cases, hence their enquiry. RK said that customers expect HMRC to be the highest authority on tax so they expect a proper reply. JH re-iterated that the aim even for a written enquiry is to help and we want to help point customers in the right directions. However this has to be balanced against our resources and we are not resourced to provide comfort ruling where there is no material uncertainty. DC considered that HMRC should be honest about this and not pretend that we are offering a service which we are not.

AP 13/09 – JVCC members to send comments on the rewrite of Notice 700/06 and COP10 to EC (copied to SS).

AP 14/09 – JVCC members to send SS details of any clearances which HMRC has subsequently drawn back from.

4 Agenda item 4 - Cross Border VAT changes 2010 - Joan Gay, Colin Wilson, Andrew Webb

4.1 JG gave a brief introduction to the changes arising from the VAT Package and advised that the relevant draft legislation was published on the HMRC website on 1 May 2009. IT delivery for the changes has now been transferred to BCU in the ‘Carter’ team and CT&VAT is working closely with that team to deliver the changes.

4.2 CW explained that the main change in the published draft legislation is clarification of who is covered by B2B supplies by introducing the concept of 'relevant business person'. The reverse charge provisions have been similarly amended. Transitional arrangements have also been introduced to avoid the possibility of supplies being taxed prior to 1 January 2010 in a Member State and then taxed again in the UK post 1 January 2010.

4.3 Some issues are still being discussed in the VAT Committee and HMRC will publish any further clarifications on the HMRC website in due course. The EU Commission is keen to agree a definition for catering services (supplies on board ships etc) which can be used across the Directive. The UK is concerned that any proposal will not adversely affect our zero rate.

4.4 A suggested definition of admission (in relation to cultural and artistic etc services) would include entry to events such as shows, concerts, exhibitions, sporting events and educational or scientific events such as conferences or seminars. However, it would not include participation in conferences and seminars if not open for admission to the general public or entry or use of sporting facilities in exchange for entry or membership fees. Businesses have told HMRC that they would prefer in-house training to fall under the general rule and HMRC has suggested that at the VAT Committee.

4.5 Discussion is also ongoing on definitions relating to hire of means of transport, ie 'means of transport', 'put at the disposal of' and 'continuous possession and use'. The favoured view on 'put at the disposal of' is that this means the place where the means of transport is when the customer actually takes physical control of it. For 'continuous possession and use' current thinking is that the starting point will be the contractual agreement between the parties.

4.6 The UK does not apply force of attraction principles nor does it intend to, but some Member States do and that affects UK businesses which trade cross-border. The UK is seeking to ensure that any agreed definition of 'intervening' properly addresses UK businesses concerns.

4.7 The normal approach to determining whether there is a B2B supply will be either the customer’s VAT number or other commercial documentation provided by the customer. When deciding whether the customer is using a supply for personal use, current thinking is that if a VAT number is supplied, then the supplier should take account of the nature of the service and if necessary obtain a self-declaration from the customer about intended use. For example music downloads are usually for personal use. Where a supply is partially for business and partially for non-business use, it should be treated as B2B.

4.8 HMRC has raised with the Commission the issue of travel agents’ services in relation to hotel booking for B2B supplies - whether the service is land related or falls under the new general rule. The Commission has asked Member States to supply details of their use and enjoyment rules. This may indicate that it wants to see a uniform approach, which is something that businesses are also concerned about.

4.9 DC asked if the VAT treatment of yacht hire is being harmonised across the EU. His perception is that UK treatment is out of step with that of other Member States and this can lead to accusations of avoidance. CW said this is not an issue being considered under the VAT Package. AW advised that there is an EU Working Group which is looking at Member States control and taxation of yachts. If DC supplies him with further information on specific problems, AW will pass it to the relevant HMRC people involved in this Working Group.

4.10 GR has concerns over the acceptance of a 'relevant business person' based on provision of information that implies they are in business, as he considers that does not necessarily mean they are a relevant business for VAT purposes. CW responded that HMRC had spent a considerable time drafting the legislation and teasing out what it wanted to achieve in that. This had included input from both in-house solicitors and Parliamentary Counsel. If GR wishes to provide comments on this aspect of the draft legislation, CW will discuss this further with the legal advisers. JH said that HMRC wants the legislation to reflect appropriate policy and process.

4.11 MJ asked if a VAT registration number is enough to define 'taxable person'. AW commented that this is the view of quite a few Member States as well as the European Commission, but there are ongoing discussions on this issue.

4.12 JG gave high level details of the time of supply changes and said that the tax point for services subject to the reverse charge will be the earlier of date of completion of the service or payment. HMRC recognises that businesses may find it difficult to identify the point of completion and their guidance provides flexibility to mitigate the administrative burdens. HMRC would welcome comments, from as wide a range of businesses as possible, on how the completion can be identified eg date of invoice – issued, received, date logged in the system or payment made. HMRC would also like information on different business practices eg when an invoice is entered in the accounting system - pre or post authorisation process.

4.13 IH said that a business may not get an invoice in the first instance but receive a request for payment, pay and then receive the invoice. DC said that using an invoice date may not be suitable where a business claims input tax on payment. It is unlikely that there will be an approach that will suit all businesses. JG replied that HMRC is trying to be as flexible as possible and that we would welcome comments on the draft legislation as soon as possible and also information on business practices. JH reiterated that HMRC is keen to get business input on this issue and provide an opportunity for the JVCC members to influence the process. HMRC wants evidence and intelligence to help us develop this.

4.14 MJ queried why the EU wants to align the time on entry on an ESL with that of the tax declaration by the customer as this is likely to be impractical. AN suggested that if we want items to match we should just choose an arbitrary date, eg the invoice date but DC considered such an approach would mean that many businesses would have to reconfigure their systems to cope which would incur a compliance cost. JG again stressed that HMRC wants to be flexible and minimise the burdens on business. JH commented that HMRC wants to produce guidance that will allow businesses to comply with the Directive using their existing systems.

4.15 IH commented that there is no loss of revenue with EU supplies but businesses are saying that they will move outside of the EU to avoid the forthcoming changes. So this tax change has the potential to drive businesses to do something that they would not have considered otherwise.

4.16 JG asked JVCC members for information about the changes relating to continuous supplies of services and the arbitrary tax point of 31 December each year. DC considers this may cause problems with intra-company supplies especially end of year budgetary ones.

4.17 AW outlined the changes relating to ESLs: the introduction of ESLs for services, monthly ESLs for goods where the trading level is above a specified threshold and a reduction in the period of time for businesses to submit their declarations to HMRC and for HMRC to exchange the collated data with other Member States. Detailed guidance on these changes was published on the HMRC website on 1 May 2009. AN asked if a business has cross-border trade in both goods and services, will the frequency for ESLs for services follow that for goods. AW said that HMRC is not prescribing the frequency of ESLs for services in these circumstances and that the business can decide which frequency suits it best. Codes will be used on the ESL to distinguish the different types of supply, with a Code 3 identifying a cross-border supply of services.

4.18 AW advised that HMRC will allow 14 days after the end of the period for submission of paper ESLs and 21 days for submission of electronic ESLs. TJ considered the submission time for paper forms is very short and this will place a considerable burden on businesses who have to collate the information. AW explained that HMRC recognises that it is likely to receive the forms on day 14 and that during 2010 they will receive a significant increase in the number of ESL declarations as there are far more businesses involved in intra-EC supplies of services than of goods. As a result HMRC will need additional time to scan and process the forms, then collate and exchange the data with other Member States. HMRC plans to use scanning technology to input paper ESLs and will closely monitor the position so that if later on in 2010 it can extend the 14 day declaration period for businesses, it will do so. HMRC realises the potential difficulties with the introduction of the new ESL for services regime and it will be as tolerant as possible and apply a light touch to the compliance regime.

4.19 RK asked how HMRC will know if an ESL for services is required as there is no box on the VAT return for this to be recorded. AW said that checks will be via exchange of information with other Member States. MJ is concerned that calendar quarters will not align with special tax periods used by businesses. AW said there is a need for standardised periods across the EU and that HMRC is trying to minimise the burdens on businesses. However these changes will be reviewed in future.

4.20 AW thanked those who had responded to the consultation on enhanced VAT number checking. The comments were evenly divided between full disclosure and fuzzy matching. No one raised any major data security issues during the consultation. The decision on which system to adopt will be a Ministerial one but current policy thinking is to recommend adoption of the full disclosure system.

4.21 JG advised that HMRC has published draft legislation and guidance on the VAT refund scheme and we would like comments on it by 26 June 2009. GR suggested that it might be useful to clarify when the exchange rate is set to avoid problems with currency fluctuations.

AP 15/09: JVCC members to provide JG (copied to SS) with information on business practices and the potential impact of the time of supply changes on business systems as soon as possible.

AP 16/09: JVCC members to provide JG (copied to SS) with information on the arbitrary tax point of 31 December for continuous supplies of services.

5 Agenda item 5 - VAT rate change - Jack Fletcher, Ian Stewart

5.1 JF said that legislation was announced on 25 November 2008 which was intended to prevent artificial avoidance but not affect genuine transactions. The legislation introduced a supplementary charge of 2.5 per cent that will apply where a tax point is created before the rate rise for goods and services which are provided after. It only applies where the customer cannot recover all the VAT that it incurs on the supply and one of four set conditions is met. HMRC believed that the legislation met the government’s intention that it would not affect normal commercial transactions. However if there was such an impact, it contained provisions to remove supplies from the scope of the supplementary charge retrospectively. GR thought that it was a blunt instrument where the parties are connected. This could prove problematic if the policy is operated rigidly and HMRC might need to cut subsections of legislation dealing with the definition of related parties.

5.2 MJ asked if the legislation will remain on the statute book for ever and JH advised there are no plans at present for it to be repealed but it is intended only to have a one-off effect.

5.3 JF said that HMRC would be issuing detailed guidance on how to deal with the rate rise. The guidance on the rate reduction was generally well received but some sectors had commented that more detail would be required in some areas when the rate rises, eg retentions in the construction industry. He asked for JVCC members to consider any other areas that should be covered in the guidance. DC suggested the treatment of theatre tickets and similar supplies where the question is whether these are for the right to a service or a service itself. JF explained that this had only become an issue when the rate decreased and the time of supply became important for deciding what rate of VAT would apply. The treatment of such supplies would be covered in the rate rise guidance.

5.4 A research project is being undertaken to evaluate the compliance costs of the temporary rate cut. This will be undertaken in two stages, is currently underway and on course at present. JF thanked those JVCC members who had participated in the workshop on 2 April 2009. Their views were useful in refining questions for this research project which in turn helped with drafting the survey form.

AP 17/09: JVCC members to provide JF (copied to SS) with suggestions for any issues that need greater coverage in the rate rise guidance.

6 Agenda item 6 - Extra Statutory Concession 3.5 - misdirection - Pete Woodham

6.1 PW referred to RCB 15/09 and said he had come along to explain the thinking behind that. As a result of the Wilkinson case, HMRC had found that its discretionary powers were narrower and more tightly defined than had been previously thought. This led to a review of ESCs and some were found not to be ESCs at all – 3.5 was one of these. HMRC’s guidance and statement of practice, published last autumn, shows when a customer can rely on advice from HMRC: this covers all taxes and so ESC3.5 became redundant.

6.2 Basically there is no change to the policy relating to misdirection. If someone thinks they have been misdirected, they can still make a case in exactly the same way as before. Cases which were formally known as misdirection by omission will continue to be considered using the criteria of legitimate expectation as laid down by the courts.

6.3 HMRC is currently working on new guidance on this and at present this is being considered by HMRC’s solicitors. Although HMRC has apparently removed a concession, this is just a rebadge and HMRC’s practice remains as it was. ST feels that rebadging only makes this more difficult to find and suggested that it would be helpful to have links to this on the HMRC website, especially from Notice 700/06. GR suggested that it would also be useful if a link to this guidance could be added to the next version of the Taxpayer’s Charter.

7 Agenda item 7 - Carter Programme - Stephen Banyard Judith Pattison Mark Holden

7.1 SB explained the Carter programme history and coverage along with his and the BCU’s role in relation to Carter. SB would like to set up a sub group of the JVCC to get input to the communication and marketing of the changes being made through the Carter programme. JP said that the sub group would also cover the IT changes for the VAT EU Package. BCU would like about 10 members for this group which will also include some members directly from businesses. The aim is to get the group together in the near future (possibly early June, diaries permitting) and JP distributed draft Terms of Reference for it to the JVCC members. SB said that working together with agents had been immensely valuable for the SA changes and it would be good to get contact with agents through the proposed sub group.

7.2 The improved VAT online service should be delivered in October 2009 and mandation for specific categories of VAT registered traders will apply from April 2010. JH commented that the intention is still to have regular Carter updates at JVCC meetings. SB would particularly like to have comments on attitudes to online filing.

7.3 AMcD said that there is likely to be an issue for remote parts of Scotland where broadband access is not certain. He thought that SA had been successful because of agents input but fewer businesses use agents for VAT which might have an impact. IH said there are complex rules for agents authorisation and if these are addressed it would help increase take-up. SB advised that non-VAT registered agents will be able to file on behalf of their clients on the new online system. He also said that online access is increasing year on year so access problems are becoming less.

7.4 JP advised the group that HMRC now has the results of research into unrepresented, small VAT businesses and their attitudes to online filing. Some of these segments would have little trouble moving to online filing – but others would find it harder to make the change, either because of their attitudes to online transactions, or perceived lack of skills to do so. The Carter team would like the proposed sub-group’s views on how to reach these traders and encourage them to file online. ST said that a small number of businesses either can’t or won’t file online but HMRC has failed to recognise this and provide any ‘let out’ in legislation. SB responded that HMRC’s belief is that the number of businesses without access to IT, even if that is through family or friends, is very low. MH considers that the sub group will be able to help HMRC get the right messages about online filing to businesses and reach the target audience.

7.5 GR suggested that a monetary incentive for online filing might encourage take-up. SB responded that Lord Carter’s proposal was for no further monetary incentive to be offered since one had already been offered for PAYE online filing. JD reminded the meeting that businesses were offered an incentive for online filing of VAT returns because of the additional time allowed to pay any tax due electronically.

7.6 ST asked if HMRC has considered capture of VAT return information by telephone. SB replied that HMRC is looking at this but at present it is difficult to find a cost effective service, however work is ongoing. For SA, HMRC had arranged online access at libraries on particular dates. AMcD commented that HMRC needs to consider the level of public Internet access routes available: these are decreasing due to the introduction of WiFi connections. In particular many hotels now only have WiFi access. Other outlets offering filing opportunities might include the Post Office.

7.7 BCU will provide an email to be sent to all JVCC members, seeking participants for a Carter sub group.

AP 18/09 – BCU to supply an email about the proposed Carter sub group which is to be sent to JVCC members seeking participants for the group.

8 Agenda item 8 - any other business - Jim Harra

8.1 JP reminded the JVCC that responses to the consultation on the VAT Regulations for Carter is due by 3 July 2009.

8.2 AMcD wanted to know if there is any likelihood of the UK signing up to a reduced rate for restaurant services. IS said that he is not aware of any plans to do so, and that this would be for HM Treasury anyway. He will let them know that this issue had been raised.

8.3 MJ said that there are too many consultations where HMRC asks for responses in 10 days. He requested that HMRC allow at least 15 days for responses. JH responded that HMRC’s aim is to give more time but that depends on the policy team. Ideally HMRC would like to give 28 days but can be constrained by the policy process, for example timing if a Ministerial decision is required. GR said that at Budget 2009 the Impact Assessments (IA) were published in a single document of around 300 pages. This made it difficult to quickly locate a specific IA and what is needed is either individually published IAs or a decent index in a combined document. JH said that HMRC publishes IAs individually when it can and will check what went out in Budget 2009.

8.4 ST asked when the HMRC website is going to improve and provided examples of items which are out of date. Also the search engine is not good. JH suggested this could be an item for the next meeting with Web Convergence attending to explain what is happening on this. Various members commented that the litigation list on the HMRC website if very out of date. IS asked if this is useful and there was general agreement that it is. RK said that advice to clients might vary if an adviser knows that a particular issue is under litigation, however all that advisers are likely to need is the name of the case and whether HMRC is appealing it.

8.5 DC advised that in two cases he is aware of, Fleming claims that were being handled by officers with direct knowledge of the taxpayer had been passed to the central team. DC asked whether this was a new policy decision as at least one of the case officers had indicated this to be the case. If so, then there will be no continuity with the officer who previously dealt with the case. JH responded that although the Fleming team are co-ordinating the work, claims can be dealt with locally. CS asked what is happening with Fleming claims. JH replied that HMRC received considerably more claims than it expected and many of these were received in the last few days before the deadline. All claims have now been scanned and work is starting on them. CS considers that it would be useful to have a letter from HMRC acknowledging receipt of Fleming claims and advising that these are being dealt with.

8.6 NS advised that minutes from the Invoice Workshop will appear on the JVCC website shortly. JH thanked everyone for attending and for their useful contributions.

Appendix A

Joint VAT Consultative Committee (JVCC)

(Meeting no 73)

Friday 8 May 2009

11.00-15.00 Room G16
1 Horse Guards Road

External Attendees

Professor Alex McDougall (AMcD) - Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
Robert Killington (RK) - VAT Practitioners Group
Cathy Symonds (CS) - Association of Accounting Technicians
Mike James (MJ) - VAT in Industry Group
Stephen Taylor (ST) - Association of Taxation Technicians
Vic Peake (VP) - Federation of Small Businesses
Sebastian Hordern (SH) - Confederation of British Industry
Tony Jackson (TJ) - The Chartered Institute of Taxation
Ian Hayes (IH) - Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales
Dean Carey (DC) - Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
Andrew Needham (AN) - Forum of Private Business
Gary Richards (GR) - Law Society England & Wales


Robert Maas - Institute of Indirect Taxation
Hayley Slipman - Association of British Insurers
Robin Hume - Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
Keith Lawrence - Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
Tom Kelman - Association of Accounting Technicians
Angela O’Hara - VAT 100 Group
Jonathan Davies - VAT 100 Group
Richard Baron - Institute of Directors
John Arnold - Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales
Bill Smith - Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy
Alessandra Williams - Law Society
Sue Eckles - British Retail Consortium

HMRC attendees

Jim Harra (JH) - Director, CT&VAT
Nikki Stinton (NS) - JVCC Secretary
Sheena Slater (SS) - JVCC Secretary
Ian Stewart (IS) - Deputy Director, CT&VAT
Janet Dowling (JD) - CT&VAT
Andrew Bryant (AB) - VRS
Ann Ling (AL) - Customer Contact
Joan Gay (JG) - CT&VAT
Colin Wilson (CW) - CT&VAT
Andrew Webb (AW) - CT&VAT
Jack Fletcher (JF) - CT&VAT
Pete Woodham (PW) - Central Policy
Stephen Banyard (SB) - Director BCU
Judith Pattison (JP) - BCU Carter Programme
Mark Holden (MH) - BCU Carter Programme
Scott Akister (SA) - Customer Contact
Steve Jones (SJ) - Local Compliance
Mark Devaney (MD) - CT&VAT
Mike Cunningham (MC) - Treasury


Simon Woodside - BCU
Dot Moules - CT&VAT
Gill Evans - CT&VAT
Kate Woods - Local Compliance
Emma Cartledge - Central Policy
John Terry - Customer Contact
Linda Allen - BCU

Appendix B

Current position on JVCC action points

AP ref


Current position

AP 17/07

BCU to supply results of CRM pilot to JVCC Members (HMRC to report back including basis of invitation for selection in the AAM pilot.)

Customer Relations Managers (CRM)

The external evaluation of the Customer Relations Managers for agents (working in HMRC’s Customer Operations area) pilot has been completed. HMRC will retain CRMs in their existing locations in the short term while continuing to assess the case for a wider roll out. HMRC is also looking at the level of expertise required to deliver this service.

Agent Account Managers (AAM)

The evaluation of the AAM role recognised the added value that the proactive support to agents had provided and the ability of AAMs to resolve problems where other avenues had not been successful. HMRC’s intention is to increase the number of AAMs and achieve a full geographical spread of AAMs when they are all in post.

Discharged 22/5/09

AP 5/08

JVCC Members encouraged to give their views on Irritants and Suggestions Register.

No responses received, but register to be kept open

AP carried forward

AP 22/08

JVCC members who wish to be involved in an invoicing working group to contact John Brandwood – the intention would be for this group to meet in the autumn, as soon as there is any indication of CION intentions. That will probably be after August but before the year end.

There were a number of JVCC volunteers for the working subgroup. The group met on 8 April 2009 to discuss the European Commission’s proposals for changes to the existing VAT invoicing regulations.

It is intended that the working subgroup will meet periodically as the discussions and negotiations on the proposals develop.


AP 1/09

Andrew Bryant to check and ensure that website gives the correct message regarding where to send requests for de-registration and registration variations.

The information on the website has been revamped to clearly show that both de-registration and variation requests should be sent to Grimsby.



JVCC members to send examples of registration delays to Nikki Stinton.

Examples of registration delays received and forwarded to VAT Registration Service.

Discharged April 09


JVCC members to send examples of HMRC responses to requests for clearances to Nikki Stinton.

None received.



John Terry to look into position regarding clearances for charities.

Confirmed that the criteria for dealing with clearances is the same within the Charities Team (CAR) as it is within the National Advice Service - VAT Written Enquiries Team.

Discharged 8/5/09

AP 5/09

JVCC members to send any comments about the Carter VAT communications strategy to Nikki Stinton.

None received.


AP 6/09

Nikki Stinton to send out draft legislation on ESLs.

Sent to JVCC on 27 January 2009

Discharged 27 January 2009

AP 7/09

Nikki Stinton to send out RCB on ESLs and Time of Supply of Services.

Sent to JVCC on 21 January 2009

Discharged 21 January 2009

AP 8/09

Sandra Quayle and Janet Dowling to establish whether new modulus check could be made available to businesses and their agents. Also to look at communication of the change.

Agreed to publish on request, and make available to JVCC, but not to include on website in case it confuses and provokes low value contact. Note disclosing issues to JVCC by email (27 April 2009).

Discharged 27 April 2009

AP 9/09

JVCC members to send any comments on the proposal to remove the Schedule 1 VAT Forms from the Regulations to Nikki Stinton by 8 February 2009.

One response from VPG. Measure now dropped due to pressure on FB. Possibly revisited at Budget 2010. JVCC advised of this by email 23 March 2009.



Janet Dowling to raise JVCC concerns over the VCU address with key HMRC stakeholders and report back.

New guidance produced to clarify procedure for submitting VAT returns and made available on website. It includes an address for courier deliveries.

Business Reply Envelopes supplied to overseas businesses will be marked ‘United Kingdom’.

Additional work with Royal Mail to ensure that recorded and registered mail is accepted at post office counters and all mail using the BX5 5AT post code is correctly processed.

Discharged 7 May 2009

Action points from meeting on 8 May 2009

AP 11/09

Andrew Bryant to review the registration process where there are OTT (option to tax) implications, in particular liaison with the unit dealing with OTT.


AP 12/09

Andrew Bryant to review communications about delays in registration processing.



JVCC members to send comments on the rewrite of Notice 700/06 and COP10 to Emma Cartledge (copied to Sheena Slater).


AP 14/09

JVCC members to send Sheena Slater details of any clearances which HMRC has subsequently drawn back from.


AP 15/09

JVCC members to provide Joan Gay (copied to Sheena Slater) with information on business practices and the potential impact of the time of supply changes on business systems, as soon as possible.


AP 16/09

JVCC members to provide Joan Gay (copied to Sheena Slater) with information on the arbitrary tax point of 31 December for continuous supplies of services.


AP 17/09

JVCC members to provide Jack Fletcher (copied to Sheena Slater) with suggestions for any issues that need greater coverage in the rate rise guidance.


AP 18/09

BCU to supply an e-mail about the proposed Carter sub group which is to be sent to JVCC members seeking participants for the group.

Email sent to JVCC members 12 May 2009.

Discharged 12 May 2009

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$START-DATA$ title=Minutes of the 73rd JVCC meeting held on Friday 8 May 2009^ summary=Minutes of the 73rd JVCC meeting held on Friday 8 May 2009.^ doctype=InformationSheet^ date=10-Sep-2009^ author=ms014687^ $END-DATA$
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