Chamber Members

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 and was on the EU VAT Expert Group. He seeks at all times to work collaboratively with HMRC but where it is not possible to reach agreement on a matter, then he can take a case forward on appeal.

He is well known for many important cases in VAT, and is working on more now! His credentials are set out below.

Imperial College at Wye, BSc in Agriculture and Economics; 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).

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).

Wide range of topics covered including: VAT liabilities of transfer pricing charges; Partial exemption reviews and recoveries for banks, funds and insurance sectors; Review of collective, pension and individual fund management charges; Review of pension fund management. Ensuring efficiencies for charitable donations; Reviews of education and medical charges; Review of land and property transactions; 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.

These include the following:

  • 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-408/98Ground 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.

Tax Journal

  • 26 July and 2 August 1999: VAT and Financial Services, Sparekassernes Datacenter and CSC Financial Services: with Artur Bugsgang of Vett Listrup & Partners, Copenhagen.
  • 8 Nov 2004: What did the Romans ever do for Tax law? With Daron Gunson.
  • 31 Jan 2005: Anglais Anglaises, c’est moi, Mason, qui vous parle: Compiler of special Entente Cordiale edition of Tax Journal. and “The American Jewels” – how using   option theory as developed in the United States could predict the outcome of the Marks and Spencer direct tax cross border loss offset case in the CJEU- Peter predicted accurately that option theory would be applied- taxpayers do not have a free option to decide the locus of tax liabilities and related credits.
  • 22 May 2006: On Beltane Eve: concerning the Abbey National VAT and funds case at the CJEU
  • 26 June 2006: Awe of the Civil Law is the beginning of all VAT wisdom: Concerning the importance of civil law concepts in understanding VAT
  • 12 April 2010: VAT focus: VAT and human rights.
  • 17 May 2010: VAT exemption for insurance intermediaries.
  • 26 August 2010: VAT groups and EU Infraction proceedings.
  • 16 June 2011: What is a TOGC?
  • 9 February 2012: VAT and insurance, the RBS case.
  • 5 July 2013: Ask an expert: VAT issues arising for an overseas charity buying a UK property.
  • 30 May 2014: Ask an expert; problems with VAT groups when many become one.
  • 6 August 2015: VAT Groups: an “Intelligent” Solution to TOGC’s.
  • 11 May 2016: Aspiro: A judgment set in stone?  With Hamish Garnett of Metlife and David Jordorson of the Association of British Insurers.


  • 1999: Roman law re-asserts itself: On the Abbey National TOGC case and meaning of succession.
  • 13 June 2013: Study and Learn: Tax penalties and the Hok case.
  • 26 August 2105: An Intelligent Solution.

VAT Digest

  • Jul / August 2009: Utmost Good Faith: with Hamish Garnett of AIG, looking at the VAT exemptions in the insurance sector.
  • Sep /Oct 2010: Is European law “Always Speaking”?

Tax Adviser

  • 28 May 2013: No GAAR without a GADR.
  • 27 February 2014: Do the knowledge on consideration:  with Linda Adelson of Rosetta Tax on the Cabvision case
  • 4 December 2015 VAT or no VAT: When does a business sale amount to a TOGC?


  • Recent Developments in Value Added Tax – The Evolution of European VAT Jurisprudence and its Role in the EU Common VAT System: Lang/Pistone/Schuch/Staringer/Raponi – Linde Verlag, Vienna. ISBN 978-3-7073-2753-3 :  Two chapters:
    – “Ich bin ein wissenschaftlicher Steuerrechtsanwalt“ – After Axa, we are all scientific tax  lawyers.
    –  There is no such thing as a  TOGC.
Peter Mason Barrister Cuckmere Chambers