HMRC refused £80m VAT appeal

THE TAXMAN has been refused leave to appeal in its £80m VAT battle against Spot-the-Ball owners Sportech.

The listed gaming business has told the stock exchange that HM Revenue & Customs’ bid to have its VAT case heard at the Upper Tribunal has been dismissed by the First Tier Tribunal.

HMRC has until 1 July to apply to the Upper Tribunal for permission to appeal against the first-tier tribunal’s decision.

The wrangle between the two parties relates to VAT being applied to Spot the Ball between 1979 and 1996. The VAT overpayment is calculated at £40m, with simple interest doubling the total.

sportech’s share price climbed to 100p from 94p in Friday’s trading, valuing the company at nearly £200m by market cap.

It has been a busy time for Sportech, which has restructured the business and its finances in recent weeks.

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