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Tribunal finds that age and “not owning a computer” are not reasonable grounds for an exemption from filing VAT returns online

Posted: August 21, 2018

The Tax Tribunal judgement in the case of Glen Lyn Generations Limited & Exmoor Coast Boat Cruises Limited has confirmed HMRC’s assessment that age and having limited access to IT equipment were not reasonable grounds to give an exemption to file VAT returns online.

All businesses must file VAT returns online although in very limited circumstances HMRC can allow an exemption to permit the use of paper VAT filings. The director of the two companies here argued that his age was such that he had never learnt to use a computer at school – and that this, along with his remote location, meant that he should be granted an exemption from filing electronic VAT returns. HMRC refused to allow the exemption and this decision was supported by the First Tier Tax Tribunal.