Bargain Booze owner finds £30m tax bill

From BBC - March 14, 2018

The owner of the Bargain Booze and Wine Rack chains has revealed an unexpected 30m tax bill that must be paid by the end of this month.

Conviviality, which is also a drinks wholesaler, said it first discovered on Tuesday that the amount was owed.

Shares in the company were suspended on AIM ahead of Wednesday's announcement.

Last week, Conviviality cut its annual profits forecast by a fifth and said the tax bill may cut profits still further.

Profits are now likely to be about 55m rather than 70m.

Analysts at Shore Capital said: "We are baffled as to how the company had not taken this [tax] payment into account, given the close proximity of the due date and the materiality of the amount due. We are no tax experts, but it looks like it relates to more than corporation tax given the corporation tax charge and tax paid in 2017 was 6.1m and 8.3m respectively."

In its announcement to the Stock Exchange, Conviviality said the tax bill had created a "short-term funding requirement".

The company has appointed PwC to assist with discussions with HM Revenue and Customs, as well as its lenders, credit insurers and suppliers.

'Material error'


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