David Jetuah, Accountancy Age, Tuesday 24 August 2010 at 10:28:00

Appeal court judges cap attempts by Marks & Spencer to claim "breathtaking" 433,000 costs after court case

Tribunal judges have slashed the amount M&S can claim in costs from thetaxman by half after a marathon case, describing the 433,000 originally soughtas "breathtaking".

Earlier this year, the retailgiantwon a partial victory in the courts after a marathon dispute with thetaxman, but judges baulked at awarding 433,000 in costs for the Upper Tribunalhearing.

"Our decision is that HMRC should pay 50% of M&S costs of the appeal tothe

Upper Tribunal," judges said in court papers.

M&S is already in line for an 18.5m windfall from the taxman after thegroup loss relief case.

"We cannot leave the issue of costs without further comment. The total costsof the appeal to the Upper Tribunal claimed by M&S are just over 433,000,"judges said.

"This is a breathtaking amount for an appeal in circumstances where theTribunal gave full and carefully reasoned decisions on all the issues indispute? although very large amounts of money are at stake, there must come alimit beyond which costs become disproportionate."

Further reading:

M&S group relief victory fails to open floodgates