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HMRC internal manual

VAT Valuation Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Specific applications: Opticians and sellers of hearing-aids: the Leightons case

The issue was considered in two appeals to VAT Tribunals, Eye-Tech Opticians (LON/92/3289/A) and Leightons Ltd (LON/92/2521). In each case the Tribunal found that there were separate supplies of standard-rated goods and exempt services and that apportionments were appropriate. We appealed Leightons to the High Court, which upheld the Tribunal’s decision, and have now accepted that, since 1 September 1988, there have been two separate supplies requiring an apportionment of the charges on the sale of spectacles.

Following the ECJ decision in the Card Protection Plan case (C-349/96) the issue of single/multiple supplies by opticians was reviewed again in the case of Southport Visionplus (LON/01/0505). The tribunal decided that there are separate supplies of dispensing services (which are exempt) and optical appliances (which are standard-rated).