Glasgow School of Art v. HMRC ~ Philip Simpson QC

Philip Simpson QC appeared for the taxpayer in Glasgow School of Art v. HMRC [2018] UKFTT 276 (TC). The case concerned whether the construction of a new building (the Reid Building) for the Glasgow School of Art and the refurbishment of another building (the Assembly Building) constituted separate supplies, and whether the lease the School of Art granted to the Students’ Association counted as economic activity, despite a low rent. The Tribunal held that the Assembly and the Reid Buildings were a single building, because of one fire door that linked the two. In any event, the features of the single construction contract that covered both sets of works meant that there was a single supply. The low rent meant that the lease to the Students’ Association was not in itself economic activity, but part of the overall educational activity of the School of Art.