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2020 / 2021 Edition

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BAA intervenes in quarry company liquidation

British Aggregates Association

Association warns liquidators of Skye Aggregates that HMRC may have acted illegally

THE British Aggregates Association (BAA) has warned the liquidators of Skye Aggregates Ltd that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) may have acted illegally in forcing the company into receivership.

Skye Aggregates had been experiencing cash flow problems due to the recession, with customers taking longer to pay, but the BAA said it was the addition of punitive interest to the company’s aggregates levy bill by an unsympathetic HMRC that led to the receivers being called in.

BAA director Robert Durward said: ‘When we received the paperwork from the liquidators of Skye Aggregates, it was obvious that this company was a victim of the aggregates levy, which made up two thirds of the deficit.

‘A levy of £2 per tonne might not seem much in the Home Counties, but it represents a crippling burden in the regions.’

According to the BAA, Skye Aggregates had very few debts in comparison to most liquidations.

The Association’s lawyers, Herbert Smith, have written to the receivers, RSM Tenon, and cautioned them against any action or disposal that could prejudice the interests of Skye Aggregates pending the final outcome of the BAA’s legal challenge against the levy.

If the legal challenge is successful, quarry operators such as Skye Aggregates will be entitled to reclaim the total amount paid to HMRC since the levy was introduced on 1 April 2002.

The BAA is advising any operators experiencing cash flow difficulties as a result of the levy to contact the Association as a matter of urgency.

‘Following the 7 March judgment, it is important that quarry operators now take steps to protect themselves against the effects of the aggregates levy,’ said Mr Durward.

‘Having fought the levy through various courts since 2002, our association is uniquely well placed to assist SME operators.’

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