BREWER GREENE KING is to pursue action at the Court of Appeal after the upper-tier tribunal ruled its controversial tax structure was “contrived” for avoidance purposes.
In its latest annual report, the brewer outlines its intention to continue its legal battle with HM Revenue & Customs.
“We have been advised that the upper tribunal [tax court] decision was unclear on certain elements of the case and, therefore, it will now be considered by the court of appeal,” Greene King said in its report, ahead of its annual shareholder meeting at Newmarket racecourse on 10 September.
The scheme was thrown out of the upper tribunal in April but the pub chain’s chief executive Rooney Anand has maintained the structure works and has described comparisons between his company’s practices and those of Starbucks and Google as an “insult”.
The scheme saw an internal loan made between its companies, in which the lender is not taxed on the finance while the borrower makes a deduction against the interest on the loan.
Public Accounts Committee member and Conservative MP Richard Bacon last year described it as “purely artificial”, while committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge said the scheme was one of the most egregious examples of tax avoidance by a business.