Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Stradbroke: Dog food company Skinners wins latest round in VAT battle with HMRC

06:00 04 June 2014

Roger Skinner, chairman of animal feed company Skinners.

Roger Skinner, chairman of animal feed company Skinners.

A Suffolk dog food manufacturer has scored another victory in a wrangle with the taxman which could result in a multi-million pound VAT windfall.

shares

Roger Skinner Ltd, from Stradbroke, secured a tribunal ruling in 2012 that four of its products which were targeted specifically at gun dogs and other working dogs between 1980 and 2009 should have been treated as zero-rated for VAT.

The company was unaware of the concession during the time the four lines were in production and, as a result, handed over nearly £7million in VAT, which is normally applied to pet food.

However, its hopes of claiming a rebate have now received a further boost, with an appeal by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) against the first tier tribunal ruling two year ago having been rejected following an upper tribunal hearing.

Animal feeding stuffs, such as those used by farmers in livestock production, are zero-rated for VAT and the taxman accepted as long ago as 1994 that feed produced specifically for racing greyhounds should be treated in the same way.

In 2002, HMRC also recognised that formulated food sold exclusively for working dogs could be covered by the same relief, unless it was classed as “biscuit or meal”, a category specified in a schedule of exceptions along with other types of pet food.

The first tier tribunal concluded that the term “meal” referred to “a mixer for use with meat or canned dog food”, whereas the Skinners products in question each represented a complete diet on their own.

Mr Justice Newey, who presided over the upper tribunal hearing last month, has now concluded that this interpretation was correct, although, it remains unclear whether the company will receive a rebate.

A spokesman for HMRC said yesterday: “HMRC will not be appealing the decision, and we are currently considering the implications.” However, it is understood that HMRC could yet contest some “held over” elements of the original ruling which were not covered by the upper tribunal decision.

The Skinner family, which has owned a mill in Stradbroke for seven generations, branched out into complete dry dog foods in the 1970s as a natural extension from animal feed compounding.

It was in 2009 that, as a result of a chance remark concerning the possibility of ferrets being classed as working animals rather than pets, that chairman Roger Skinner realised the same principle could apply to a number of former products aimed specifically at working dogs.

Paul Whittle and a team from Colchester-based accountancy firm Whittle & Co has been acting for the company, with barristers Michael Conlon QC and Anne Redston putting its case at tribunal, instructed by Peter Crix of Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich.

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

The vandals tore through Bury St Edmunds

A drunken “night of madness” saw vandals rack up over £5,000 of damage to cars, pubs and property as they roamed the streets of Bury St Edmunds.

Josephine Murphy

An 86-year-old woman who had gone missing from Clacton has been found safe and well

Aftermath of a barn fire in Holton.

A television antiques expert has appealed for help rebuilding his eco-friendly arts centre in Suffolk after a major blaze destroyed the historic sawmill that was to be its showroom and workshops.

Tim Yeo

An outgoing Suffolk MP has denied reports he stands to make more than £500,000 from the sale of his second home, which was part-subsidised by the taxpayer – saying he plans to keep the London property.

Stansted Airport

Aircraft pilots were targeted with lasers around Stansted Airport 45 times last year.

Darsham Nurseries head chef Lola DeMille and chef Tom Eagle in the cafe where they are donating money from one of the dishes to the World Land Trust.

An international conservation charity based in Suffolk is one of three organisations to benefit from a new campaign raising awareness about the impact of meat production on health, welfare and the environment.

Suffolk County Council's base at Endeavour House

Up to 23 jobs could go in a major shake-up of Suffolk County Council’s education services.

Latitude Festival, at the Henham Estate near Southwold

Suffolk poet Luke Wright has seen the Latitude festival grow from a modest boutique gathering in 2006 to one of Britain’s biggest music and arts events.

Last year's Colchester Half Marathon.

Thousands of people will be pounding the streets of Colchester tomorrow as the town’s half marathon event returns.

.The Patrick Stead Hospital, Halesworth.
Photo: Nick Butcher
Copy: Sarah Brealey
For: EDP / Weeklies
EDP pics © 2007
(01603) 772434

Community leaders and concerned patients have raised fears for the future of a Suffolk hospital.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages