Sportech claims VAT victory as HMRC denied appeal

Sportech’s long-running dispute over a VAT repayment of £93 million (€110.2 million/$117 million) in the UK has finally come to an end after Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) was denied permission to appeal by the Supreme Court.

The case began in 2013 when a First-Tier Tribunal ruled in favour of Sportech in regards to a claim on its ‘Spot the Ball’ game, with the firm receiving £93 million in repayment from HMRC.

However, the ruling was reversed in September 2014 when Sportech was told it would have to repay all funds after a successful HMRC appeal, only for the decision to be changed again in May of this year when Court of Appeal judges ruled the firm should be allowed to keep the funds.

After the Court of Appeal turned down a request from HMRC to appeal the May ruling, the organisation was given permission to apply to the Supreme Court to challenge the decision.

However, the Supreme Court has now denied HMRC permission to appeal, which Sportech said brings matters to a close.

Sportech was awarded £93 million by HMRC in June and a balance of £4 million will also be paid, while the Supreme Court ordered HMRC to pay costs.

Ian Penrose, chief executive of Sportech, said: “We are delighted that after nearly eight years, this case is now over and the Supreme Court has upheld the unanimous decision of the Court of Appeal.”

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