Religious objections to online filing – again: Harvey v Revenue & Customs

Under Regulation 25 of the Value Added Tax Regulations 1995/2518, VAT returns must normally be filed online. However, under regulation 25A (6)(a), where the Commissioners are satisfied that a person registered for VAT is a practising member of a religious society or order whose beliefs are incompatible with the use of electronic communications, that person is not required to make the returns required by Regulation 25 using an electronic return system.

The facts

In Harvey (T/A Sun Ice Air Conditioning) v Revenue & Customs (VAT – APPEALS: Other) [2016] UKFTT 266 (TC), Mr Harvey had told HMRC in 2012 that, on religious grounds, he did not wish to file his VAT returns electronically. HMRC replied with a request for further details of his religious beliefs and his answer was that “there is only one person who can determin (sic) my religious beliefs and that is me and no other. You are (or other) not qualified to make such a decision on my behalf” [7]. Continue reading