PracticeAuditE&Y profits from Tesco’s Guardian win

E&Y profits from Tesco's Guardian win

Tens of thousands paid to Big Four firm

tesco shop

The Guardian’s £800,000
bill for legal costs incurred during its dispute with
Tesco included £87,000 paid
to
Ernst
& Young
, Accountancy Age has learned.

The newspaper was forced to apologise last September after accusing the
supermarket of creating an elaborate off-shore structure to avoid paying up to
£1bn in corporation tax on profits from the sale of its UK properties.

Headlines included ‘Tesco’s £1bn tax avoiding plan ­ move to the Cayman
Islands’ and ‘Every little bit helps: tax free pot of gold at end of Tesco’s
rainbow’.

The Guardian subsequently accepted the ‘damaging allegations were
unfounded’.

Editor Alan Rusbridger said this week: ‘It was Tesco’s contention that The
Guardian had made an elementary and obvious mistake. So simple was it that the
bill includes more than £350k for their tax lawyers and accountants to explain
to their own lawyers just what Tesco were up to.’

Tesco media director Jonathan Church said: ‘The Guardian got their
story on Tesco and tax completely wrong. They have agreed to pay costs and we
are now discussing the amounts with them through the courts.’ Ernst & Young
declined to comment.

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