Betfred takes on the taxman

Bookmakers Betfred have challenged the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for wrongly imposingVAT on fixed odd betting terminals (FOBT’S) from the year 2005 -2013. Betfred challenged the HMRC over VAT that was charged, when in fact these games should have been classed as exempt.Betfred

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The First-tier Tribunal Tax Chamber ruled in Betfred’s favour, which in turn will be a victory for other companies within the gambling industry. This will come as a welcome piece of news to betting operators who were hit with the news of a maximum of a £2 limit to be set on FOBT’S.The tribunal stated that the principal of fiscal neutrality was incorrectly imposed by collection of VAT from FOBT’s revenues. Similar types of roulette styled games in online and land based casinos should not have been subject to any tax. The aforementioned types of games already have a betting levy imposed on them.Whether or not the HMRC will lodge an appeal against the ruling remains to be seen. It is thought that the amount of refunds that can reclaimed could exceed the amount of £1billion, with Betfred’s claim said to be around £100 million.

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