Sportech set to lodge VAT repayment claim appeal

Sportech set to lodge VAT repayment claim appeal

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A Sportech spokesperson has told TotallyGaming.com that the pools and sports betting operator is “confident” over an appeal it hopes to lodge in relation to a VAT repayment claim on the ‘Spot the Ball’ game.

Last month, Sportech was ordered to repay £93m (€117.4m/$149.2m) after the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) ruled in favour of an appeal put forward by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customers (HMRC), the UK's tax authority.

The decision came after the First-Tier Tribunal last year ruled in favour of Sportech and the operator received a payment of £93m from HMRC in June of this year.

In response to HMRC’s successful appeal last month, Sportech has now lodged an application for permission from the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber) to appeal to the Court of Appeal over this VAT repayment claim.

“The VAT repayment claim, in respect of the ‘Spot the Ball’ game, was successfully determined in Sportech’s favour by the First-Tier Tax Tribunal in March last year, who also rejected HMRC’s initial appeal,” the spokesperson told TotallyGaming.com.

“HMRC subsequently appealed the decision to the Upper Tribunal, which last month ruled in favour of HMRC.

“We have applied for leave to appeal this ruling as the First-tier Tax tribunal has already ruled in our favour and we remain confident in our case.”

In a process that has dragged on for more than five years, Sportech has always claimed that it mistakenly paid VAT on the game from 1979 to 1996.

Last month, Sportech chief executive Ian Penrose told TotallyGaming.com: “Anything that takes so long is inevitably frustrating, but that is the nature of the process.”

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