FMX Food Merchants v HMRC TC/2011/4985, 29/Nov/13

The Tax Tribunal gave its decision in favour of the taxpayer represented by me in the £1/2 million garlic import duty case of FMX Food Merchants v HMRC TC/2011/4985, 29/Nov/13. In 2011 HMRC had tried to claim from FMX import duty of £503,000, plus interest, allegedly due on garlic imports from as far back as 2003 to 2004. The problem arose due to a fraud in the Far East wrongly showing Chinese garlic as Cambodian so as to benefit from preferential import duty. There was no allegation FMX knew about this but as the importer HMRC claimed it was still liable.

The case turned though on my key submission that there was nothing at all in UK law allowing the UK tax authorities to go back beyond the normal 3 years as set out in the European Customs Code. This was a major victory for importers in the long-running garlic import duty saga and establishes clear legal authority to help defend against wrongful HMRC claims.

A more detailed case analysis is on my website.

Eamon McNicholas
Tax Barrister, Accountant

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About Eamon McNicholas

Tax Barrister, Accountant www.EamonMcNicholas.com
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