An important issue is whether the line of cases beginning with WT Ramsay Ltd v IR Commrs  AC 300, and, including Furniss (HMIT) v Dawson  BTC 71 apply to VAT.
Furniss v Dawson decided that, given two findings of fact, any step inserted in a series of transactions which has no purpose other than tax avoidance or the obtaining of a tax advantage is disregarded for fiscal purposes. The two crucial findings of fact are that:
(1)there should be a pre-ordained series of transactions which equate to a single composite transaction; and
(2)one or more of the steps have been inserted with no purpose other than tax avoidance or the gaining of a tax advantage.