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HMRC internal manual

VAT Joint and Several Liability

Establishing whether the JSL measure should be applied: Introduction

To enable this measure to be applied in a supply chain in the UK, the following criteria need to be met:

  • there has been a supply of specified goods (JSL2200) (supplies of telephones or computer components took place between 10 April 2003 and 30 April 2007 (JSL2050), or supplies of other electronic equipment took place on or after 1 May 2007(JSL2100)); and 
  • the supply chain includes a missing, defaulting or hijacked trader and the VAT owed and not paid by that trader has been established (if the unpaid VAT is because of genuine bad debts or genuine business failure this measure is not to be applied); and 
  • a debt has been established (JSL4200) against that missing, defaulting or hijacked trader by issuing an assessment; and 
  • the debt has not been recovered; and 
  • we can demonstrate that one or more VAT registered taxable persons in the supply chain (i.e., the buffers and broker) ‘knew’ or ‘had reasonable grounds to suspect’ (JSL4300) that VAT in relation to the supply would go unpaid somewhere in the supply chain (usually the missing/defaulting trader).

Only once the above criteria have been met should you prepare a case (JSL5000) for applying the JSL measure.