Peter Mason

Peter is a Barrister, Chartered Certified Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser at Cuckmere Chambers. He specialises in optimising the VAT position for businesses, especially in the finance, funds and insurance sectors, as well as for other businesses and non-profit organisations.

He is member of the CIOT indirect tax committee, Bankers Taxation Circle, Revenue Bar Association and International Fiscal Association. He was on the EU VAT Expert Group. He seeks at all times to work collaboratively with the tax authorities but is prepared to advise on when their view may not be correct.

He is well known for many important cases in VAT. His credentials are set out below.

  • Imperial College at Wye, BSc;
  • Open University LLB;
  • Chartered Certified Accountant;
  • Fellow of Chartered Institute of Taxation by Thesis (Solving VAT bad debt relief problems in the Financial and Receiver Sectors);
  • City University, Bar Vocational Course; Called to the Bar of England and Wales (Grays Inn, 2006).
Work roles:
Shepherd; HM Customs and Excise, Dover Preventive and VAT Officer West End; Head of VAT Abbey National PLC; Head of VAT CMS Cameron McKenna LLP; Pupillage Monckton Chambers; Partner, Rosetta Tax LLP, Cuckmere Chambers (since 2016).
Client work experience:
  • VAT

    VAT liability of transfer pricing charges and mitigation; Partial exemption reviews and recoveries for banks, funds and insurance sectors; Review of collective, pension and individual fund management charges; SIPP reviews including whether exemption applies for administration charges; Ensuring efficiencies for charitable donations; Reviews of education and medical charges; Review of land and property transactions; Review and mitigation of penalties; Review of wholesale value chain transactions in relation to MTIC risk: Review of import and exports; Review of postal and delivery services; structuring within legal framework to obtain optimised VAT position. VAT liability of payments services. Due diligence requirements on supplier invoices and input tax treatment. Assisting Litigation funders on likelihood of success in a litigation matter.

  • Insurance Premium tax
    Review of what falls into non-life general insurance under Annex I Part A 1.Sickness and 2.Accident, and Life (Permanent health insurance) under Annex II class IV.
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax
    Identify tax consequences of property transactions for mixed use and multiple dwelling relief, and prepare disclosures for the tax administration.
  • Inheritance Tax
    Review estates for IHT purposes and assist in submission of returns.
Notable cases:
  • Wagon Finance Ltd v Commrs Customs & Excise (CCE) [1999]
    UKVATTR 16288 Obtained VAT exemption on HP Admin fees: Win
  • Abbey National Plc v CCE [2001]
    CJEU Case C-408/98: Ground breaking case obtaining deductibility of VAT on selling costs on transfer of going concern- a legal fiction which creates an 'in-business non-supply' for VAT purposes: Win
  • Abbey National Plc v CCE [2001]
    UKVATTR 17506: Obtained exemption for outsourced collective investment fund management: Win
  • Abbey National v CCE [2005]
    EWHC 1187(Ch): Challenge to the regulations imposing straight line apportionment for bad debt relief for impaired HP and conditional sale finance agreements. Lost the case but won the battle the law was changed shortly afterwards.
  • Abbey National v CCE [2006]
    CJEU Case C-168/04: Case referred to Europe on the back of the French Conseil'D'Etat ruling in Sogefonds SA, and obtained exemption for administration fund management for collective investment funds: Win
  • Abbey National v CCE [2006]
    EWCA Civ 886: Case concerning whether a virtual assignment of property was letting or leasing of immovable property: Part win
  • Cabvision Ltd V Revenue and Customs Commissioners (RCC) [2013]
    UKFTT 674(TC): Acted as Counsel in a complex case concerning direct tax based structured finance arrangements, and whether a credit note could be issued: Taxpayer win
  • Intelligent Managed Services Ltd v RCC [2105]
    UKUT 341: Acted as Counsel in First-tier Tribunal and in appeal to Upper Tribunal (led by QC) on whether business sale into a VAT group could be a transfer of a going concern: Taxpayer win
  • Represented a barrister in an appeal
    against assessments and determination of personal tax liability under self-assessment, case settled before hearing: Taxpayer win

Core Values

Tax lawyers have to deal with and solve day to day issues about business, and advise on how longer problems can be dealt with. When Peter has challenged the status quo he his position has often been proven to be correct.

Peter is interested in environmental issues and charities, and is a part-time organic farmer.