Unjust enrichment: Statutory interest
Statutory interest is a payment which must be made under specific legislation or a court ruling. For aggregates levy the provisions are in the Finance Act 2001, Schedule 8, paragraph 2.
Statutory interest falls within the scope of the reimbursement arrangements, and is subject to the same terms and conditions as any other money reimbursed (repaid) under the arrangements. It must be refunded to the customers, because it was the customers who did not have use of the money, not the claimant who collected it from them to pay to HMRC. Any statutory interest must be refunded in full; any amounts not reimbursed must be returned to HMRC within the specified time limit.
It may be difficult for a business to divide interest among its customers, because some of the sums involved may have been paid earlier than other amounts. The regulations do not specify how this problem can be overcome. One answer may be by giving the business a printout of the statutory interest calculation, which works out simple - rather than compound - interest on a period by period basis. It would then be a relatively straightforward matter for the business to divide interest payable into the amount overpaid for that period. This should work out roughly what is due to customers for that particular period.