The ruling followed a case between Customs & Excise and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Prior to the decision an assessment could come into effect from the moment it was calculated, and without notification to the taxpayer. As a result taxpayers may have paid interest on their account without having an opportunity to pay any of the amount.
Deloitte & Touche VAT partner, Andrew Ball, welcomed the decision. He said: ‘The VAT legislation has previously been interpreted to mean that the time limits in which Customs must make an assessment run to the date Customs make the assessment internally, and not the date on which they send the notification.’
During the tribunal the Bank of Scotland claimed they had received an assessment after the expiry of the time limit, while Customs claimed it had been made within the limit.
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