BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: Business
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Market Data 
Your Money 
Business Basics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Thursday, 18 October, 2001, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
M&S seeks teacake VAT refund
Branch of Marks & Spencer
With backdated interest, M&S's claim comes to 12m
By BBC business reporter Martin Lewis

Marks & Spencer is challenging Customs & Excise chiefs, after being unable to reclaim VAT it incorrectly paid on teacakes, biscuits and bottled water.

While the battle may sound like a storm in a teacup, it could be worth 12m to M&S - a handy sum for a company which has struggled to maintain profits.

The case has been referred by the UK Court of Appeal to the European Court of Justice, where the two sides have already put forward written arguments, and were set to give verbal statements on Thursday.

M&S believes its claim dates back to 1973.

Backdated interest

The retailer claims it paid 3.3m too much VAT on teacakes, 1m too much on bottled water, 800,000 on gift vouchers and 500,000 on tinned biscuits.

Including backdated interest, these sums amount to 12m, M&S claims.

The retailer argues its case is backed by the European Commission.

But Customs & Excise say that, as M&S passed the extra charges on to consumers, a rebate would be inappropriate.

The case is set to spend six months with the European Court of Justice, before returning to the Court of Appeal.

See also:

28 Sep 01 | Business
Struggling M&S launches new range
28 Sep 01 | Business
Can 'one woman' save M&S?
28 Sep 01 | Business
Shoppers rush for M&S's new look
28 Sep 01 | Business
The rise and fall of M&S
16 Oct 01 | Business
M&S sells French stores
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories