HMRC repaid overpaid output tax for a period of nearly 12 years and the taxpayer claimed interest on the overpayment under VATA 1994, s. 78 – Pye Motors Ltd v HMRC  UKFTT 471 (TC).
To determine the matter, it was necessary to identify whether the overpayment was due to HMRC error. That error did not have to be the only cause of the overpayment but had to be the “real” cause.
After an analysis of this simple principle in the context of some quite complex facts, the FTT was not satisfied that the VAT repaid to the appellant was paid as a result of any error on the part of HMRC. Nor was the tribunal satisfied that the appellant suffered any delay in receiving repayment as a result of errors by HMRC.