In The Ice Rink Company Ltd Planet Ice (Milton Keynes) Ltd v HMRC [2020] TC07829, the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) held that the hire of children's ice skates is a separate supply from admission to an ice rink.

This was the second hearing by the FTT and concerned whether the hire of children's ice skates was part of a single standard-rated supply of admission to and use of ice rinks, or a separate zero-rated supply.

The Ice Rink company offered several different skating options for customers including:

  • Rink admission only.
  • Skates and rink admission.
  • Skate hire only.

When skates were hired to children (either on their own or with rink admission), the company treated this a supply to a ‘child’ and zero-rated the supply.

HMRC argued that where there was both child skate hire and rink admission, hire of skates was ancillary to the access and should be treated as a single supply subject to VAT at the standard rate.

At the first hearing, the FTT allowed the appeal. It referred to the decisions in Card Protection Plan and that the customer's viewpoint a consumer of the package is receiving the two supplies and they were separable because not all customers needed both and neither supply is ancillary to the other.

HMRC appealed the FTT decision on the grounds that the FTT should have assessed the supplies from the perspective of customers of the skates and rink admission package but instead assessed it from the perspective of customers of the rinks as a whole.

The Upper Tribunal (UT) found that the FTT followed the wrong approach in its decision and, accordingly, made an error of law. The UT set aside the earlier decision and remitted the case back to the FTT for reconsideration of the facts and available evidence.

The FTT reconsidered the case and held that: "Having taken all these matters into account, we have come to the view that the typical consumer of the package would not regard themselves as receiving a single supply of admission and hire of skates, but two separate supplies and that it would by no means be artificial in this case to split the supply of the package into its two separate components. We are therefore respecting the principle that in general, each supply stands on its own".

HMRC have confirmed that they will not appeal this decision.


Mixed Supplies: Single or Multiple Supply?
Is a mixed supply a single or multiple supply for VAT purposes? What tests and case law apply?

Previous decision

Ice Rink Company: Single or multiple supplies?
In The Ice Rink Company Ltd and PI (Milton Keynes) Ltd [2019] UKUT 0108  the UT found that the FTT had made an error of law when it decided that a “skate hire and admission” package sold as a package were two separate supplies.

External links

The Ice Rink Company Ltd Planet Ice (Milton Keynes) Ltd v HMRC [2020] TC07829

The Ice Rink Company Ltd and PI (Milton Keynes) Ltd [2019] UKUT 0108