Case details

Littlewoods Limited and others (Appellants) v Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2015/0177

Case summary

Issues
  1. On liability: whether a tax-payer's claim for restitution of the time value of mistakenly overpaid VAT is prevented by ss.78 and 80 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994, and if so whether that is contrary to EU law, and if so whether, when dis-applied, they must be dis-applied to allow only Woolwich-type restitution claims not mistake based restitution claims as well?
  2. On quantum: whether the benefit to the Government from VAT overpayments is measured by the "objective use" value (i.e. the cost of borrowing) or by the "actual benefit" derived. If objective use, is that consistent with EU law and if compound interest is applied, over what period?
Facts

Littlewoods Limited and others ("Littlewoods") overpaid VAT to Commissioners for her Majesty's Revenue and Customs ("HMRC"). HMRC have now repaid the principal sums together with simple interest at the rates provided for under s.78 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994. Littlewoods seeks to recover in restitution the time value of the principal sums (in compound interest).

Judgment appealed

[2015] EWCA Civ 515

Parties

Appellant

Littlewodds Limited and others

Respondent

Commissioners for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

Appeal

Justices

Lord Neuberger, Lord Clarke, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hodge

Hearing start date

03 Jul 2017

Hearing finish date

04 Jul 2017

Watch hearing
03 Jul 2017 Morning session Afternoon session
04 Jul 2017 Morning session Afternoon session