Debt and return pursuit: Air Passenger Duty: Who is liable to pay the debt? The fiscal representative
Operators with no business establishment in the UK, or other fixed address in the UK,must nominate a fiscal representative who is based in the UK. The operator and fiscalrepresentative are liable to pay the APD. Section 34 (4)(c) of the Finance Act 1994,provides:
“Where any person is appointed under this section to be the fiscal representative of any aircraft operator (in this section referred to as his “principal”, then the fiscal representative –
(a)shall be entitled to act on his principal’s behalf for any of the purposes of the enactments relating to duty,
(b)shall, subject to such provisions as may be made by regulations, secure (where appropriate by acting on his principal’s behalf) his principal’s compliance with and discharge of the obligations and liabilities to which his principal is subject by virtue of those enactments, and
(c)shall be personally liable in respect of any failure of his principal to comply with or discharge any such obligation or liability as if the obligation and liabilities imposed on his principal were imposed jointly and severally on the fiscal representative and his principal.”
Although these operators are required to nominate fiscal representatives to act on theirbehalf, it is the operator who is registered for APD.
As a matter of policy, take action against a fiscal representative only when actionagainst the operator is exhausted and a debt for which the representative is liableremains unpaid. Verification of the representative’s status may be made by referenceto a letter signed by the authorised officer confirming his official representativestatus.
It is good practice to notify a representative of his liability under the Act when westart proceedings against the operator.
The provision for mutual assistance in the recovery of tax debts between Member States inthe European Union does not currently extend to the collection of Air Passenger Duty.