MOSCOW, June 2 (RAPSI) – The Tenth Commercial Court of Appeals on July 7 will consider an appeal filed by McDonald’s against a ruling ordering it to pay about 8 million rubles ($230,314) in debt and penalties to six Russian businessmen for failing to make lease payments, the court told RAPSI on Monday.

According to the plaintiffs, McDonald’s unilaterally changed the contractual provision on the calculation of the lease costs to exclude VAT.

McDonald’s argued that the literal interpretation of the phrase “lease payment” in the contract excludes VAT because VAT is not part of “net turnover” as stipulated under the contract. McDonald’s further said that the inclusion of VAT in the lease payment would result in double taxation and unreasonable gains for the plaintiffs.

In April, the Moscow Region Commercial Court granted the claim because the contract between the sides says that lease payments shall amount to 5% of net turnover plus VAT. This contractual provision should be understood literally and is, in this particular case, a component part of the fee, which the defendant must pay in accordance with its contractual obligations.