Sportechs Spot the Ball VAT row drags on into extra time
June, 06th 2016
Sportech said its seven-year battle to recoup £97 million in VAT from the taxman, on the grounds that Spot the Ball is a game of chance rather than skill would continue until at least the autumn.
HMRC has applied directly to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal an earlier decision by the Court of Appeal.
Last month, the Court of Appeal ruled unanimously that the football pools company had wrongly paid VAT on its Spot the Ball competitions.
A fortnight later, it also refused permission for HMRC to appeal its decision. Shares in Sportech, whose market capitalisation is just £148 million, fell by 5.5% this morning.
Frustrated punter discovers nobody has won Spot the Ball jackpot for a Sportech argues that it is a game of chance and therefore it should not have paid VAT on the game between 1979 and 1996.
Sportech first lodged its claim, for £40 million, in 2009 but time has pushed the total, including interest, to £97 million.
“Sportech will file its notice of objection to such application by next Monday, and has been advised that it should expect to hear by the autumn whether HMRC has been granted the right to appeal to the Supreme Court,” it said in a statement.