M&S tea-cake case returns to ECJ

The House of Lords has reluctantly admitted that the European Courts of
Justice will have to decide whether Mark & Spencer is entitled to a VAT
rebate on the sale of its chocolate-covered tea-cakes.

Five law lords in London ‘reluctantly’ stated on Friday that an earlier
decision by the ECJ had not clarified EU law sufficiently for them to decide
whether M&S was entitled to repayment of £3.5m charged on its teacakes for
more than a decade. The case has therefore been taken to the ECJ for a second

HM Customs & Excise had classified the M&S teacake as a chocolate
biscuit, forcing the firm to pay a ‘standard’ tax, rather than cakes which
should have been zero-rated. The courts will decide which is the correct

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