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HMRC internal manual

Excise Repayment of Overpaid Duty

HM Revenue & Customs
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The reimbursement scheme: what is a partial reimbursement

A partial reimbursement would occur when the claimant has not passed the whole of the excise duty element onto their customer(s). Instead they have absorbed a proportion themselves and passed on the remainder.

This again is best illustrated by way of example:

A revenue trader submits a claim for recovery of £50,000 of overpaid excise duty. They are able to demonstrate through their records and accounts that they only passed £30,000 of this onto their customers and absorbed the remaining £20,000 cost by way of excise duty, themselves.

We agree these figures. The claimant requests that they be allowed to keep £20,000 of any repayment, since they have for all practical purposes paid that part of the duty themselves.

In this case only £30,000 would be subject to the reimbursement scheme and the revenue trader’s reimbursement arrangements would be arranged to refund that amount to the appropriate consumer(s).

The existence of the scheme does not affect a revenue trader’s right to claim that a repayment would not unjustly enrich them. Should we reject this claim then the revenue trader still has the right of appeal to Tribunal.

It should be remembered that the defence of unjust enrichment is for us to invoke and therefore for us to prove.

If the Tribunal finds in our favour, then the reimbursement scheme would still be available for the revenue trader to use if they so choose.