TAXATION

TAXATION

Customs wins #25m BS case, reports Jon Bunn

British Steel has lost its bid to recover #25m in excise duty paid to Customs & Excise over a five-year period.

Customs hailed the High Court decision as an ‘important victory’ for the public purse ending a legal wrangle that stretched back to 1969.

British Steel argued that relief was due on duty charged on heavy fuel oil burnt in its blast furnaces between 1988 and 1993. The company, which bought oil at prices which included excise duty until the law was changed in 1994, had its appeal restricted to a six-year period.

Legal experts from both sides based their claims on whether the oil was used for creating heat or as part of the chemical reaction taking place in the furnace. But the court agreed with Customs’ interpretation of the law that, as the oil was burnt in a furnace and created heat, no relief was due under the Hydrocarbon Oil Duties Act 1979.

A Customs spokesman said the dispute arose due to differing tax treatment of heavy fuel oil around Europe prior to 1994. ‘The European Commissioners clarified the position in 1994 when they allowed relief from excise duty on oil used in such furnaces by extra statutory concession,’ he said.

‘But prior to that we had no option but to deny relief. The position is now the same for all European steel producers.’

Related Articles

Supreme Court rules against Pimlico Plumbers in landmark employment case

Legal Supreme Court rules against Pimlico Plumbers in landmark employment case

6d Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Inheritance tax is 'unfit for modern society' and should be abolished, says think tank

Personal Tax Inheritance tax is 'unfit for modern society' and should be abolished, says think tank

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Rent-a-room relief – the survey says…

Personal Tax Rent-a-room relief – the survey says…

3m Helen Thornley, ATT Technical Officer
What should the OTS prioritise in its review of inheritance tax?

Personal Tax What should the OTS prioritise in its review of inheritance tax?

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

Administration LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

6m Lucy Skoulding, Reporter
HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

Administration HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

7m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
HMRC urged to clarify impact of income allowances on Self-Assessments

Personal Tax HMRC urged to clarify impact of income allowances on Self-Assessments

8m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

Administration New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

8m Emma Rawson, ATT Technical Officer