William Hill has followed counterparts Betfred and Rank Group Plc in issuing an HMRC claim for compensation owed by tax charges on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).
The FTSE bookmaker will be able to secure a multi-million £tax refund on FOBT charges levied from 2005 to 2013.
William Hill’s HMRC rebate is based on an April High Court decision that supported a joint appeal by Betfred and Rank challenging HMRC VAT charges on machine duties, as operators could exclude charges in line with EU tax policy and its fiscal neutrality precedent.
The High Court sided with the betting operators on the ground that before it revised its VAT policy in January 2013, HMRC had made no distinction with respect to the ‘supply of games.’
Having lost two separate court decisions against Betfred and Rank, HMRC last week announced it would no longer seek further tribunal judgement on the tax dispute.
Following the decision of the High Court, William Hill became the first bookmaker to claim Government compensation. Updating investors, William Hill said it was looking at scenarios relating to its rebate fee.
The bookmaker explained in depth in a statement sent to the media: “Whilst William Hill currently expects the net cash recovery to be material, its precise quantum remains uncertain. Nevertheless, the board has considered a number of scenarios which suggest a potential net cash recovery of between £125 million and £150 million.”