VAT MAN FACES SECOND BOUT IN REBATE FIGHT

One company is refusing to let Customs & Excise off the hook over its illegal charging of

Still reeling from a judgment that left him facing a multi-billion pound pay-back, the VAT man now faces another onslaught over what are claimed to be illegal moves to make refunds.

A VAT Tribunal challenge is being mounted this month over what is claimed to be "illegal refusal" to refund the money.

In April, after liquidated company Primback, part of the Kingsway Furniture Group, brought an action, the Appeal Court held that Customs & Excise had been wrong to charge VAT on interest-free credit deals for the past 25 years.

Lords Justices Stuart-Smith and Hutchison overturned a VAT Tribunal and left the VAT man facing an estimated £5 billion tax refund bill.

A Customs & Excise appeal against the decision is currently pending in the House of Lords.

Now Nottingham-based Faculty of Building has hired niche London tax practice Mainprice & Co, the firm which master-minded the earlier landmark action, over the failure of Customs & Excise to make tax paybacks.

Faculty of Building, a leading teaching institute in the building industry, will claim on 16 September before the Manchester VAT Tribunal that it is due repayment of £92,181 but has only received £41,073.

Customs & Excise has refused to pay the rest, claiming a ministerial release put out after the April ruling indicated that legislation would be introduced to reduce the repayment liability to just three years.

Clare Mainprice, a barrister-turned-solicitor, said: "It is incredible that on the basis of a ministerial policy statement Customs & Excise is refusing to make repayments which the courts have said those who have paid are entitled to.

"There is no doubt in my mind that they are acting illegally and totally contrary to

European law guidelines. We hope to get an early hearing and know many other firms and organisations are waiting on the sidelines with similar claims."