Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 14°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Bury St Edmunds: Greene King rejects Minister’s ‘tax avoidance’ claim after tribunal ruling

16:54 28 April 2014

The Greene King brewery in Bury St Edmunds.

The Greene King brewery in Bury St Edmunds.

Archant

Pubs and brewing group Greene King has denied suggestions it has been engaging in tax avoidance after losing the latest round in a battle with HM Revenue & Customs.

The Bury St Edmunds-based company, which says that it pays seven times more in tax than it does in dividends, added that it was considering a further appeal against the ruling.

According to HMRC, a scheme marketed by accountants Ernst & Young in 2003, involving internal loans between group companies, was designed to enable tax relief to be claimed on interest paid to another group company without that other company paying tax on the income it received.

However, the Upper Tribunal for tax affairs has now upheld a lower tier ruling that the scheme does not work.

HMRC says this means that Greene King and a number of other major companies which have also been using the scheme will between them have to pay an additional £36million in tax.

In an HMRC statement yesterday, Exchequer Secretary David Gauke said: “The vast majority of taxpayers play by the rules and the Government will continue to take tough action to tackle the minority who seek to avoid their responsibilities.

“HMRC wins 80% of the cases it takes to court and this win, in a very complex case, sends another clear message to tax avoiders. Anyone who gets involved in tax avoidance schemes is playing with fire. HMRC will pursue those involved through the courts, ensuring it collects the taxes that are due.”

However, Greene King, a member of the EADT/EDP Top100 listing of the 100 largest companies in Suffolk and Norfolk, said that the Upper Tribunal judge had accepted the the dispute was about the correct treatment of a loan for tax purposes and not a case of tax avoidance.

“Greene King has been paying its taxes for 214 years and has always taken these responsibilities very seriously,” the company said in a statement.

“We are a major contributor to the Treasury with a third of our turnover, or £375m, paid to HMRC in various forms of tax, in the last year alone. This is seven times what we pay to our shareholders in dividends.

“Over and above this, we occasionally take specific tax advice from experts, such as Ernst & Young in this case, about other areas of potential tax paid by Greene King.

“In this case, the Upper Tribunal court has disagreed with the advice we received and we are therefore currently considering whether to appeal this decision. The Upper Tribunal judge expressly said this was a question of correct accounting treatment of a loan, not tax avoidance.”

1 comment

  • The amounts of VAT and excise duty spuriously included in turnover are neither here nor there. The relevant comparison is between the amount of Corporation Tax paid, and the amount of dividends to shareholders.

    Report this comment

    John Green

    Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

The Trotters Pig

Everyone has a favourite piggy - but which one is it?

Possible views for the new Cornhill in the heart of Ipswich.

A free wifi area could be created in the heart of Ipswich when the Cornhill is rebuilt over the next two years, it has emerged.

Martin Myerscough's Frugalpac cup

A Suffolk entrepreneur could soon be supplying his eco-friendly invention to the world’s largest coffee chain, after grabbing industry attention for his answer to an environmental problem.

Alexander Baxter, owner of gentleman’s accessory firm Baxter & Baxter

A 22-year-old fashion designer who left his day job to build a brand from the ground up has seen his accessories paraded on the red carpet.

A computer-generated image of how the Sizewell complex will look after construction of Sizewell C.

Britain is set to get its first new nuclear power station in generations as EDF’s directors approve investment in Hinkley Point.

Ipswich Hospital

Hundreds of working days were lost at Suffolk’s largest hospital through psychological issues last month, prompting an investigation into the possible link between staff overtime and stress.

Tess carried a faulty BRCA2 gene, which greatly increases the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

The family of a 24-year-old woman from Ipswich who has died of cancer have paid tribute to her “strength” and “bravery” as she was determined to live life to the full despite the devastating diagnosis.

The A1071 between Ipswich and Hintlesham.

There was heavy traffic on the A1071 in Hintlesham this evening due to a number of different crashes.

Beatrix Potter fun day and celebrations at Long Melford Hall. Pictured is Maisey Doyle.

Birthday celebrations including a picnic, party games and a special trail have been held at a Suffolk hall in honour of the famous children’s author Beatrix Potter.

The Aldeburgh Carnival Queen for 2016 has been chosen

Summer wouldn’t be summer without a seaside procession, a great British fete or a laid back music festival - and all of these happen in abundance on the Suffolk Coast.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24