Belfast Telegraph

Virgin lands VAT windfall of £80m

Virgin Media has secured an £81.5m refund from the taxman after drawn out negotiations over its Value Added Tax payments.

The group released a statement yesterday saying it had reached an agreement with HM Revenue & Customs "over certain VAT matters".

The two parties eventually agreed the refund, which will be spread out over the next eight years, after disputing how the company's operations should be taxed for over a year.

Virgin reported more good news yesterday, saying it was able to slash its "contingent liability" – the sum set aside for VAT payments it considered "reasonably possible we would have to pay", according to one company insider – from £74.6m to £23.6m.

Rival Sky and set-top box maker Pace last month won a legal dispute against HMRC in a battle over import duties on the boxes.

Belfast Telegraph