Slasberg to WMCIU: Don’t give up on VAT repayment

Barry Slasberg HMRC VAT refund fight
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Working Men’s Club veteran Barry Slasberg has implored fellow stakeholders in the UK’s 1,800 strong club circuit to “take initiative” in its dealing with the Treasury over its long-running failure to recompense erroneously charge VAT on gaming machine revenue.


Writing to the heads of the Working Men’s Club and Institute Union earlier this month, Slasberg said he had been “dismayed” at two articles in the November edition of the WMCIU Journal which seemed to suggest that repayment of the funds in question was now a lost cause, and urged the union’s leadership to “stop playing this game according to HMRC’s pleasure.”

“They have been calling the tune since 2014,” he said. “That tune is simply one of domination, bullying and lying with impunity, [and] now there is a risk claims may run out of time as we have left the EU.”

“I submit the Executive must take the initiative and start dealing in facts as HMRC have avoided them like the plague,” he added.

Slasberg has argued repeatedly that HMRC’s assertion that an appeals process had officially overturned the High Court decision ruling in favour of club gaming operators is incorrect: maintaining that “the judgements of both of the appeal courts…clearly state that neither of the lower court rulings had been overturned.”

Slasberg has also said that HMRC’s claim that there no judgements made against them in 2014 is also provably false.

“Clause 52 of the Court of Appeal judgement states our Clubs’ claims were not considered,” he reminded union reps. “The High Court ruling in favour of our clubs has never been considered by a higher court, let alone overturned.”

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