says "The Times"
An Appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
"The Times" has already said it... but we cannot help but repeat it: Tolley's VAT Cases 2011 is indeed `the bible of the UK VAT industry'.
Quite an industry it has become too! Since the introduction of VAT in 1973, the resulting thousands of appeal decisions have constituted, in the words of Dolton and Rudling, `an essential commentary on many aspects of the legislation' as well as `the impact of the tax on an increasing range of business and private circumstances.'
This latest, annually published edition of Tolley's, the twenty-sixth to be precise, contains entries for over 4,000 cases in nearly 2,000 pages. The title is fully comprehensive, comprising public court and tribunal decisions relevant to current VAT legislation. The subtitle of the volume is self-explanatory. It's indeed `a comprehensive digest of reported value added tax decisions relevant to current legislation form 1973 to January 2011' and just what we need as practitioners.
A definitive work of reference though it is, this Tolley publication certainly reveals the vicissitudes of business life and the human condition as we know it.
What excuses, for example, for late submission of your VAT return will the tribunal accept, or not? The section on `Default Surcharge: whether a `reasonable excuse' covers case after case on this issue to great effect.
Death is usually a reasonable excuse (although it would probably be foolhardy to assume always!). Pregnancy and its complications is often a `reasonable excuse', but again, not always - especially in the instance of a trader's wife who gave birth to a daughter less than four weeks before the (VAT) return was due. The trader's appeal against a default surcharge for submitting the return late was dismissed, the child's birth, said the tribunal `was an event which must have been anticipated for a considerable period.'
Putting all this aside, no tax practitioner or lawyer active in this field should be without the latest edition of `Tolley's VAT Cases'. The book is also the ideal reference for accountants, students, company secretaries, or anyone in any way involved in VAT. The publication `VAT Intelligence' has described the indexing system as `far easier to use than the (official) index to the VAT tribunal decisions' which is a telling statement, indeed.
This latest edition contains much new material. The chapters on `Appeals', Business' and `European Community Law' have been expanded and there are summaries of more than 50 court decisions and over 100 decisions reached in 2010, plus an introductory survey discussing the most important of these decisions.
For ease of reference, there are three ways, basically, to look things up: the Contents List at the beginning of the book, the very extensive Table of Statues, and the equally extensive general subject index at the back.
So, if you're involved professionally in this often complex area, `Tolley's VAT Cases' in the most up-to-date edition should be an essential purchase living up to its description in `The Times' as the UK VAT industry bible, and very grateful we are for it in this area of practice.