The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in favour of EMI yesterday in a case concerning the UK value added tax (VAT) treatment of sample goods and business gifts given free of charge by EMI in marketing and promotional activities. The ECJ has ruled that no VAT is due on sample CDs given to promoters and the media to promote a new album or an artist’s music. UK law requires VAT to be charged on all but one sample given to the same person, so for example if many CDs are given to pluggers to distribute onwards to industry contacts then VAT would be payable. The judgement means that the UK and several other EU member states will likely be forced to change VAT rules on the treatment of samples and business gifts. The court case began when EMI contested

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