Big Four firm PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal has won the right to pursue a claim against the Treasury for up to £500m worth of Stamp Duty it alleges was unlawfully levied on listed companies.
Last month the High Court approved PwC’s right to pursue group litigation on behalf of current and former listed firms that had to pay capital duty of 1.5% when they issued shares on foreign stock exchanges.
According to PwC stamp taxes director Paul Emery the stamp duty assessed on UK companies taking up listings on US and other capital markets was not imposed on their European counterparts, putting them at a commercial disadvantage.
“A group litigation order provides an opportunity for the UK's tax stamp taxes regime to be amended towards further compliance with EU law, ensuring the UK remains a competitive place to do business,” he said.
The amounts levied to date are around £150m. With compound interest added, the figure could double to £300m and further claims could push the total claims above £500m.