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WeightWatchers to shed £23m to HMRC

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18th Feb 2010
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WeightWatchers is facing a £23m tax bill after losing a case against HMRC over the tax status of its regional leaders.

The weight loss company insisted that its regional meeting leaders are self employed, but a first-tier tax tribunal has ruled in favour of HMRC’s view that they should be treated as employees for tax purposes.

As a result of the ruling, WeightWatchers may be forced to pay back $37m (approximately £23m) in taxes covering the period from April 2001 to the 2009 year-end, including accrued interest.

The news is likely to have a significant impact on the group’s profits for 2009. Speaking to the Telegraph, a spokesperson for WeightWatchers said it “fully expects to appeal against the ruling”.

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