Tax Appeals Commission determination 01TACD2023 regarding Value Added Tax, 2023

Administrative Decision Number01TACD2023
Date06 October 2022
Subject MatterValue Added Tax
RespondentThe Revenue Commissioners
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01TACD2023
Between
Appellant
and
The Revenue Commissioners
Respondent
Determination
Introduction
1. This matter comes before the Tax Appeals Commission (“the Commission”) by way of
appeal pursuant to section 119 of the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act, 2010 (“VATCA
2010”) against a decision of the Revenue Commissioners (“the Respondent”) to refuse the
Appellant’s claim for repayment of Value Added Tax (“VAT”) in the sum of €27,472, in
respect of the period March/April 2020.
2. The Commission received the Appellant’s Notice of Appeal on 27th July 2020. The matter
for determination is whether the Appellant was entitled to the repayment of VAT paid in
the acquisition of professional services supplied in connection with the sale by a receiver
of tonnage and kilowatts (explained hereunder). The Commission was not holding
hearings at that time due to the global pandemic. That changed soon thereafter when it
acquired the capacity to hear appeals remotely.
Background to the Appeal
3. The Appellant is a sea fisherman and was engaged in the business of marine fishing.
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4. The Appellant is the owner of the and was the holder of a sea fishing licence
granted in respect of that vessel by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
This licence is a requirement for any boat intended to be used for commercial sea fishing.
5. The Appellant was also until December 2017 the owner of tonnage and kilowatts. The
tonnage of a fishing vessel is the cubic capacity of the fishing vessel and is measured in
cubic tonnes. The kilowatts is the measure of the horsepower of the main engine of the
vessel. These measurements carry a commercial value and can be used as collateral
against bank loans. Tonnage and kilowatts are a privately owned tradable asset that, with
certain exceptions, may be sold, traded or realised as a financial asset on the tonnage
market. When purchasing a fishing vessel it is a requirement to purchase tonnage and
kilowatts to the equivalence of the size of that vessel. For the purposes of this
determination, tonnage and kilowatts collectively are hereafter referred to as “capacity”.
6. The Appellant had borrowings with the Bank of Ireland (“the bank”), which held a fixed
charge over the capacity as security.
7. The Appellant was also the owner of a fishing licence, which at a certain point
around was removed by the Minister for the Marine. The Appellant’s evidence was
that the removal of this licence prevented him pursuing his livelihood and, consequently,
his ability to repay his borrowings with the bank.
8. The Appellant registered for VAT on 1st June 2001 and filed returns for the periods from
May 2001 to December 2010. The Appellant deregistered for VAT on the 3rd August 2012
with effect from 31st December 2010. The reason he did so was because he was no longer
an accountable person, his fishing business having ceased to operate.
9. On 29th July 2015 the bank, as a consequence of the Appellant’s failure to meet his
repayment obligations, appointed of as receiver
over the capacity of the . (hereafter “the Receiver”) was not
appointed as receiver over the fishing vessel itself.
10. The reason why the capacity was separated from the vessel and why the Receiver was
appointed over the capacity only and not the vessel as well was not clear and there was
no agreement in this respect between the parties. The Commissioner however is satisfied
that nothing turns on this question in this appeal.
11. The sale of the capacity was completed on 4th December 2017 for a price of €871,000.
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12. In conducting this sale, the Receiver acquired legal and consultancy services giving rise
to fees including VAT that were deducted from the amount that went toward paying the
sum owed to the bank. In addition, the Receiver’s own fees, which again included VAT,
were deducted from the proceeds of the sale reducing the Appellant’s indebtedness. In
total the services acquired to carry out the sale of the capacity included €27,472.00 of
VAT. The full list of services acquired and the dates of the relevant invoices were:-
Date
Supplier
The name and address on the Invoice
30th July 2015
21st December
2015
21st December
2016
29th June 2018
2nd January 2018
21st December
2018

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