Feeds

Freeserve loses AOL VAT case

Oh well

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

Freeserve has lost its long-running campaign to force AOL to pay VAT in the UK.

The High Court dismissed an attempt by Freeserve to challenge HM Customs and Excise's decision not to charge VAT on AOL's Internet service in the UK. The High Court also turned down Freeserve's bid to appeal the decision.

The rulings - handed out on Friday - bring an end to a saga that has dragged on for two years.

During that time Freeserve argued for a "level playing field" claiming that a tax loophole meant that AOL was exempt from paying around £100 million in VAT.

It launched a series of high-profile campaigns in what became an increasingly bitter bid to highlight its plight before eventually taking legal action.

Now, though, the case has been thrown out and Freeserve has got to pay costs - estimated at more than £500,000.

Freeserve pressed ahead with its VAT campaign, even though new European legislation introduced during the summer meant that all ISPs - even AOL - now pay VAT.

In a statement Freeserve said: "We are disappointed with the verdict but we are pleased that since 1 July 2003 AOL is in line with all other ISPs and has been paying VAT so that the level playing field we fought long and hard for has been achieved."

AOL - which stated throughout that it has always played by the rules - had this to say: "The High Court has confirmed that Customs & Excise followed the correct procedure in coming to its original decision to make any information providers with their hubs outside the EU exempt from VAT. AOL has always abided by the relevant legislation on VAT and will continue to do so." ®

Related Story

Freeserve gets nod for AOL legal action

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.