Marks and Spencer plc v Commissioners of Customs and Excise: ECJ 11 Jul 2002

The claimant challenged the reduction of the limitation period from six years to three for the reclaiming of overpaid VAT with immediate effect, depriving it of the opportunity to recover sums paid in excess. The company sold vouchers. It paid VAT as directed by the Commissioners after challenge, but would have sought to reclaim sums overpaid after a decision of the European Court.
Held: Such a withdrawal was contrary to Community law. Limitation laws must be reasonable, and appropriate transitional provisions were needed. It would not be correct for individuals to be able rely on a Directive where it had been implemented incorrectly but not to be able to do so where the national authorities applied national measures correctly implementing the Directive in a manner incompatible with it.
P Jann, President of Chamber and Judges D. A. O. Edward and A. La Pergola Advocate General L. A. Geelhoed
Times 20-Jul-2002, C-62/00, [2002] STC ECJ 1036, [2002] EUECJ C-62/00, [2002] BVC 622, [2003] 2 WLR 665, [2002] STI 1009, [2002] ECR I-6325, [2002] STC 1036, [2002] BTC 5477, [2003] QB 866, [2002] 3 CMLR 9, [2002] CEC 572, EU:C:2002:435, ECLI:EU:C:2002:435
Bailii
Finance Act 1997 47(1) 47(2)
European
Citing:
Reference fromMarks and Spencer Plc v Commissioners of Customs and Excise CA 19-Jan-2000
The doctrine of direct effect which gave rise for a private individual against a member state could only operate where the member failed to comply with the requirements of European Law to give effect to such law, and the requirement to put such . .
OpinionMarks and Spencer v Commissioners of Customs and Excise ECJ 11-Jul-2002
ECJ Sixth VAT directive – National legislation retroactively curtailing a limitation period for repayment of sums unduly paid – Compatibility with the principles of effectiveness and of the protection of . .

Cited by:
Referred toMarks and Spencer Plc v Commissioners of Customs and Excise CA 19-Jan-2000
The doctrine of direct effect which gave rise for a private individual against a member state could only operate where the member failed to comply with the requirements of European Law to give effect to such law, and the requirement to put such . .
CitedDFS Furniture Company Plc v Commissioners of Customs and Excise CA 16-Mar-2004
The taxpayers said that the Commissioners’ assessment to VAT was out of time, and appealed a finding that it was not. They said that time should run from the point at which the Commissioners knew the facts upon which the assessment was based. The . .
CitedFleming (T/A Bodycraft) v Revenue and Customs HL 23-Jan-2008
The transitional rules introducing time limits for failing to deduct VAT inputs made insufficient allowance for the decisions in Marks and Spencer and Grundig.
Held: Lord Hope said: ‘To be compatible with EU law, taxpayers were entitled to be . .
Judgment on first referenceMarks and Spencer Plc v Customs and Excise HL 4-Feb-2009
The taxpayer requested refund of VAT overpaid on chocolate covered cakes. The CandE resisted saying that the money had been substantially already paid by its customers. The case had been referred twice to the ECJ, who answered that the maintenance . .
CitedRevenue and Customs v The Rank Group Plc SC 8-Jul-2015
The question raised by this appeal is whether, during the period 1 October 2002 to 5 December 2005, the takings on a particular category of gaming machines operated by the appellants were subject to VAT. The answer depends on whether the takings . .
CitedLittlewoods Ltd and Others v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs SC 1-Nov-2017
The appellants had overpaid under a mistake of law very substantial sums in VAT over several years. The excess had been repaid, but with simple interest and not compound interest, which the now claimed (together with other taxpayers amounting to 17 . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 21 March 2021; Ref: scu.174364