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The services of an insurance broker or agent are exempt from VAT. But as the ways in which insurance is sold to the public become increasingly sophisticated, the question of whether or not the exemption applies is becoming more difficult to answer - and more frequently challenged by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) .

Broker chains, outsourcing arrangements, websites and customer databases have all been the subject of recent scrutiny. But the recent High Court decision in the Insurancewid