HMRC loses battle to make internet aggregators pay

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has given up its long-running fight to make aggregators pay VAT.

In April, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of Trader Media Group and defunct price comparison site, saying that non-brokers providing online insurance introductory services should be VAT exempt. Trader Media runs the Auto Trader website.

Last week, HMRC informed Deloitte, which represented Trader Media, that it would not appeal against the decision to the Supreme Court.

HMRC had until last Thursday to decide whether it would submit an appeal the UK’s highest court.

Deloitte director of indirect tax, David Fownes, said: “It’s a relief to the insurance industry that this matter is closed and that selling insurance through the internet is exempt from VAT. HMRC may be finally accepting that you don’t have to work through an insurance broker to get VAT exemption.”