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Adviser Q&A: The High Court decision in Littlewoods

Why is this topical?

The judgment in Littlewoods Retail Ltd & Ors v HMRC [2014] EWHC 868 (Ch) was handed down on 28 March 2014 in the High Court. This substantial judgment represents a comprehensive win for the taxpayer and is relevant to the many hundreds of companies which have claims pending for the recovery of compound interest in respect of overpaid VAT (as well as certain direct tax disputes concerning EU law).

What is the case about?

The Littlewoods case concerns the taxpayer’s right to recover interest on claims for the repayment of wrongly levied VAT. The particular VAT in question related to commission payments made to agents in respect of accounting periods dating back to the UK’s accession to the EU in 1973. The principal sums (i.e. the sums of undue VAT paid) had...

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