Procter & Gamble has rubbished media claims that Pringles owes £100m in unpaid VAT following this week’s court ruling that the product is officially a crisp.
Newspapers claimed P&G would be £100m out of pocket because of unpaid VAT on Pringles, after appeal court judges turned down an appeal by P&G to class Pringles as a food snack, which is tax-exempt, rather than a crisp.
But P&G slammed the reports, claiming it had always paid tax on Pringles and owed nothing to HMRC.
“The ruling changes nothing as we have always paid VAT on Pringles and the media reports are wrong to suggest we owe a penny, let alone £100m,” said Pringles brand manager Claire Forsythe-Brown.
“Should we have won the case we would have had millions of pounds coming back to the business and, although we are disappointed with the judges’ decision, nothing has changed.”
P&G had voluntarily approached the courts to clarify the VAT situation with Pringles, Forsythe-Brown said, as legislation surrounding crisps, nuts and snacks was “a highly complex and murky area that has always caused difficulty in interpretation”.