"Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited" - John Cleese

Author John Corby also writes as "Bulldogge" for the British Canadian newspaper.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Storm in a Teacake Epilogue

Finally, there is a conclusion to the story about Marks & Spencer teacakes which featured in Blighty's Blog last April http://blog.blightys.com/2008/04/storm-in-teacake.html.

A pitched battle lasting 13 years took place between M&S and the British taxman over whether M&S teacakes are liable to VAT (Value Added Tax). The taxman said M&S teacakes are chocolate covered biscuits and must be taxed. M&S said, no, their teacakes are cakes and are exempt from tax. It was a hotly contested fight - you could say that the marks and sparks were flying (but that would be an awful pun so please don't).

The European Court of Deciding Really Important Things ruled in favour of Marks & Spencer but left it to the UK courts to decide whether the taxman should reimburse £3.5M in overpaid taxes to M&S.

The taxman argued that it was M&S' customers who had paid the tax and that M&S would enjoy "unjust enrichment" if they were to be given the money. The British Lords of the Law have now decided that M&S rather than HM Government should be unjustly enriched. So the British exchequer must now cough up the loot from its coffers.

For the record, Blighty's Tuck Store sells the contentious teacakes in Canada and has never charged a brass farthing in VAT, GST or any other tax on them.

Save the Earth - it's the only planet with chocolate!

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