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HM Revenue and Customs Brief 21/12


HM Revenue and Customs -Tax Authorities

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Issued 9 July 2012

Aggregates Levy: European General Court judgment

1. Purpose of this brief

This Brief provides details about the implications for the Aggregates Levy of the March 2012 judgment of the European General Court in the case of British Aggregates Association v the European Commission.

2. Who needs to read this?

Businesses registered for Aggregates Levy and their advisers.

3. European General Court judgment

In 2002 the British Aggregates Association submitted views to the European Commission which challenged the introduction of the Aggregates Levy by claiming that the levy contained unapproved and unallowable State aid. The Commission decided not to object to the levy, concluding that it did not contain any State aid other than the credit scheme in Northern Ireland which it considered to be compatible with the common market. The British Aggregates Association brought an action in the European Courts for partial annulment of the Commissionís decision and on 7 March 2012 the European General Court ruled that the Commissionís original consideration of whether the levy contains State aid was flawed, and annulled the Commissionís decision.

The Commission has decided not to appeal the judgment and it will now need to make a reassessment of whether the levy contains any State aid and, if so, whether it is compatible with their guidelines. In the meantime, the judgment does not render the levy illegal, as it did no more than annul the European Commissionís State aid assessment. Although the levy remains under challenge in the UK Court of Appeal, its legal basis was confirmed by a High Court Order made in 2002. Accordingly, HMRC will continue to administer and collect the tax as normal. There is no change to registered businessesí legal responsibility to pay the levy. Where registered persons withhold payment of the levy declared as due on their returns late/non-payment penalties and penalty interest may become due.

4. Further information

If you have any questions about the issues arising from this Brief, please phone the Environmental Taxes Unit of Expertise on Tel 0191 225 9584.

About the Author

© Crown Copyright 2012.

A licence is needed to reproduce this article and has been republished for educational / informational purposes only. Article reproduced by permission of HM Revenue & Customs.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2012-07-13 11:24:01 in Tax Articles

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