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HMRC internal manual

VAT Taxable Person Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Particular trades: taxi and hire cars: the problem

This guidance will help you to answer the fundamental question of who is supplying the taxi transport to the public? Answering this question can be a difficult process because of the variety of ways in which taxi firms conduct their business, and the traditional lack of paperwork in the trade. A further complication is that it is possible (though rare) for the relationship between taxi firm and driver to differ between account work and cash work.

You will not need to use this guidance to establish who makes the supply of motorbike or van courier services; here the courier firm normally acts as principal in all cases. This was supported in the VAT tribunal case of Prontobikes Ltd, LON/94/1198A.

Other aspects of the taxi and hire-car business are dealt with in Public Notice 700/25: Taxis and private hire cars.