Feeds

Freeserve loses AOL VAT case

Oh well

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.