Bank of Ireland loses appeal in 27 mln pound UK tax case

DUBLIN Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:58am EST

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DUBLIN Feb 20 (Reuters) - A British tax tribunal has rejected for a second time an attempt by Bank of Ireland (BoI) to avoid 27 million pounds ($45 million) in corporation tax by transferring a financial contract between subsidiaries.

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said that BoI's Bristol and West home mortgage subsidiary's attempt to use a loophole in the law governing the taxation of derivatives was a "highly complex and speculative avoidance gamble".

The UK's Upper Tribunal, which rules on tax issues, rejected the bank's appeal, following a similar decision last April.

"HMRC has shown that, no matter how complex or intricate the case is, it will not hesitate to litigate when the rules are being abused," HMRC said in a statement.

Bristol and West transferred a swap contract with a 91 million pound gain to an affiliated company at no cost, HMRC said.

Bank of Ireland did not respond immediately to a request for comment.