Skip to main content

Case details

Zipvit Ltd (Appellant) v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (Respondent)

Case ID: 2018/0152

Case summary


Where a customer pays a supplier for what both parties mistakenly believe is a VAT-exempt supply, but turns out to be standard rated, can the customer claim a deduction of input tax from HMRC for the VAT element of the original payment?


Zipvit used postal services provided by Royal Mail. All parties believed that the services were exempt from VAT but the European Court of Justice subsequently decided they are not. Zipvit therefore claims a deduction for input tax in respect of the payments it made for these services, which it says as a matter of law included an element of VAT. Royal Mail has never paid the VAT to HMRC. Many cases stand behind Zipvit’s case, selected as a lead case, and the total amount of tax at stake is in excess of £1 billion.

Judgment date

01 Apr 2020

Neutral citation number

[2020] UKSC 15

Case ID

UKSC 2018/0152


Lord Hodge, Lady Black, Lord Briggs, Lord Sales, Lord Hamblen

Judgment details

Watch Judgment summary
01 Apr 2020 Judgment summary
Watch hearing
29 Jan 2020 Morning session Afternoon session
30 Jan 2020 Morning session Afternoon session

Judgment details

Judgment date

11 May 2022

Neutral citation

[2022] UKSC 12

Judgment details

Watch Judgment summary
11 May 2022 Judgment summary