AccountancyAge.com first revealed that the high-street favourite would challenge the Revenue in November last year, since then the case has attracted large amounts of media attention.
M&S is now expected to refer the case to the High Court in an attempt to get the decision overturned. European tax experts expressed their surprise at the Special Commissioners ruling.
Peter Cussons, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and spokesperson for international tax at the Chartered Institute of Taxation, said the conclusion is disputable.
‘Not all the relevant case law was considered and some of the case law considered was arguably misconstrued,’ he said. ‘We strongly believe that if the M&S case can be referred to the European Court of Justice, it will ultimately rule in favour of the taxpayer.’
A spokesperson for M&S said the company was ‘disappointed’ not to have won the case. ‘We stongly believe that the current UK tax legislation involved in this case is in contravention with EU law and intend to appeal to the High Court,’ said the spokesperson.
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