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HMRC internal manual

VAT Refunds

Late claim for input tax: Definition of a claim: Burden of proof and verification

It is important to note that it is for the claimant to satisfy us that he has failed to deduct the input tax that he is now claiming and that he was entitled to deduct it. It is not for us to show that he has deducted it or that he wasn’t entitled. The burden of proof is on the claimant.

Thus an unsupported assertion by the claimant or his representative that an amount has been incurred as input tax and has not been deducted will not be enough for us to pay the claim. We shall want to see hard evidence to show that the input tax was incurred and that it was not, in fact, deducted.

We are entitled, when dealing with these claims, to satisfy ourselves that the input tax was incurred, that it was not deducted and that the amount claimed is accurate. Furthermore, we are entitled to refuse to make any payment against the claim until we are so satisfied (see the judgment of the High Court in R (on the application of UK Tradecorp Ltd) -v- CCE [2004] EWHC 2515 (Admin); [2005] STC 138; [2005] BVC 128).

Under no circumstances should a claim be paid until (a) it has been established that the input tax was incurred and not, in fact, deducted and (b) the quantum of the claim has been verified.