In National Car Parks v HMRC  EWCA Civ 854 the Court of Appeal found that when a customer overpays a car parking fee, and the operator does not give change the whole fee paid is subject to VAT.
- NCP car parking machines do not give change.
- If a customer overpays there is no refund.
- The NCP claimed that the overpayment was not a supply for VAT purposes.
The Court of Appeal found that the price paid by customers for a set period of parking varied. For example, some customers will pay just £1.40 for an hour's parking. In other instances, the price might be up to £2 (if, say, a customer had only two one pound coins and chose to insert those).
It agreed that the whole amount paid (whatever paid) was paid in return for a supply of parking. The total paid was therefore subject to VAT.
In agreement with the earlier decisions of the Upper Tribunal and First Tier Tribunal, the COA dissmissed the appeal.
The UT had noted that the case of King's Lynn and West Norfolk BC v Revenue and Customs Commissioners  UKFTT 671 (TC) had probably been wrongly decided.
The decision HMRC recently changed its view on VAT: Lost deposits and unfulfilled supplies: if you pay a deposit and fail to pick up your goods, the retailer must still account for VAT on your deposit event though there is no physical supply of anything.