British Tax Agency Wants Vat Refund Back From Online Casinos

British gambling operators suffer a setback in celebrated VAT rebate case presented before European Court

British gambling laws - GamingZion

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs office plan to launch an appeal to the European Court decision, which allowed several online casinos in United Kingdom to claim Value Added Tax (VAT) returns.

The legal battle, which saw the British operators triumph, focused on litigation to rebate millions of pounds in allegedly unfairly paid VAT on online bingo games in the United Kingdom. The British court ruled in favor of the operators, but now the taxmen are looking to appeal the decision in the European Court.

In case the European Court overturns the decision of its British colleagues, online gaming groups, operation under British gambling laws may be paying back the VAT, which they managed to claim back in the first place. The amount in question exceeds GBP100 million.

European Court already published a set of clarification on the complicated legal position regarding VAT for slots and bingo games. The companies that managed to receive rebates on VAT include Rank Group, JD Wetherspoon, Gala Coral and Whitbread.

The lawyers representing the operators managed to state their case that UK tax authorities showed an unfairly twisted approach to VAT, claiming the tax from only some classes of gaming machines. This practice contradicts the European rules on fiscal neutrality.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs spokesperson, told United Kingdom gambling news: “We are studying the judgment and will issue further advice once the potential implications have been identified.”

European Court of Justice took the side of bingo operators, ruling that rebates of GBP254 million claimed by companies such as Rank Group were entirely justified. The news seems to be particularly good for Rank shares, which saw an upward climb of 13p.

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