Sportech set for almost £100m VAT repayment

Sportech set for almost £100m VAT repayment

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 Totally Gaming
The case is to be finally settled in the UK Supreme Court later this year

Sportech is to have £93m (€112.5m/$124.6m) of taxes returned in relation to its long-running dispute with the UK tax authorities over its ‘spot the ball’ games.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is to pay the money back to Sportech, the owner of The New Football Pools, despite the authority still pursuing a Supreme Court victory in its VAT dispute. Should HMRC fail it will also have to pay a further £4m to Sportech.

Sportech first lodged its claim, for £40m in 2009, but time has pushed the total, including interest, to £97 million. In 2013 a First-Tier Tribunal ruled in favour of Sportech and the company received £93m in repayments from HMRC. This ruling was then reversed in September 2014 when Sportech was ordered to repay all funds after HMRC lodged an appeal.

However, in May of this year, Court of Appeal Judges voted to reverse the ruling once again and said that Sportech should be allowed to keep the funds. The Court of Appeal turned down a request from HMRC, instead giving the tax body permission to apply to the Supreme Court to appeal the decision.

Although the Supreme Court is yet to make a decision on the request, should the tax body be given the right to appeal and the Supreme Court overturn the Court of Appeal and rule in favour of HMRC, the monies and any related interest would need to be repaid. says: “This saga looks close to being settled, but ultimately the Supreme Court will give the final adjudication later this year.”


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