Off Street Car Parking – Court of Appeal Decision
Having seemingly only just risen from their seats at the hearing, the judges at the Court of Appeal have released (on 16 December 2015) the decision in the Isle of Wight (‘IoW’) off street car parking case. The Court has dismissed the appeal and therefore confirmed that the First Tier Tribunal was correct in concluding that there would be a significant distortion of competition if local authorities did not charge VAT on their off street car parking charges.
Is this the end of the road for parking claims?
You will recall that PSTAX, anticipating this decision, recently issued an eAlert (2 December 2015) on this very subject, setting out the potential opportunity that would present itself in the event of the IoW’s appealbeing dismissed.
The opportunity will be available while there are ‘live’ claims or appeals in place, so, for those Councils with existing appeals stood over behind the IoW, the story doesn’t necessarily end here. Assuming that the IoW litigation process is now at an end, we expect the Tribunal to start asking those with related appeals whether they now want to withdraw them. We cannot predict when the Tribunal will begin this process, but until an appeal is withdrawn, the further claim opportunity exists and we recommend that do not withdraw your appeals at this stage.
As previously reported, two separate and unrelated tribunal decisions (Vodafone plc and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk District Council) have created a potential opportunity for local authorities to receive significant refunds of VAT, from periods outside of the four year capping period, by using the claim periods covered by the ‘live’ IoW appeals.
The decisions are not new and one is subject to an appeal, but local authorities should be considering taking steps now, while they have ‘live’ IoW appeals in place, to ensure their positions are protected. Once the Tribunal asks the Council the question about withdrawal, the decision will have to be taken quickly (within 30 days) to either use the ‘live’ claim or lose the opportunity altogether.
PSTAX is liaising with Mishcon de Reya to determine the best course of action with regard to further claims action and will be issuing further eAlerts in due course.
If you would like to discuss the potential opportunity further in the meantime please contact:
Peter Gladdish 01474 707529 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracey Andrews 07799 814676 email@example.com
Nick Burrows 07805 449651 firstname.lastname@example.org