A Compound Answer to a Simple Question

22 Aug 2007 | by Ewan West

Sempra Metals Limited (formerly Metallgesellschaft limited) v Her Majesty’s Commissioners of Inland Revenue and another

With its long-awaited judgment in Sempra Metals Limited (formerly Metallgesellschaft Limited) v. Her Majesty’s Commissioners of Inland Revenue and another (“Sempra Metals”) handed down on 18 July, the House of Lords has brought to an end proceedings initiated nearly twelve years ago.  However, such are the wideranging implications of the judgment that its effects are likely to reverberate for some considerable period to come.  The decision that a taxpayer who had paid tax prematurely was entitled to interest on a compound basis moves the law considerably further forward in recognising commercial and business realities.