3G tax rebate issue to be heard in February

23 Dec 2005

The European Court of Justice has written to a number of 3G licensees including Vodafone and O2 informing them that an oral hearing over their right to seek tax rebates on their licences will take place in February 2006. According to the UK broadsheet The Times, the court added that a decision on the case could come from the Advocate General as soon as the middle of next year. In the UK, the five 3G licensees – Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, O2 and 3 – have argued that the GBP22.5 billion they paid for their 3G licensees in 2000 included VAT. Since most businesses can deduct VAT they pay from the VAT they charge customers, the companies argue, they should then be eligible to reap tax windfalls from the treasury. They believe they are entitled to rebates totalling GBP3.35 billion.