Thursday, January 27, 2022


Happy New Year: New EU import laws coming into effect 1 January

EU import laws coming into effect from 1st Jan
A series of new laws governing imports from the EU come into effect on 1 January, including a range of declaration requirements and customs checks.

Off The Record Boris Johnson / Peppa Pig / PPE / HMRC / Covid strategy

Peppa Pig Boris Johnson Comment
If Boris loses the plot who could be the next incumbent to redecorate the Number 10 flat, why the Commission could be excused for breathing a big sigh of relief and who’s for a trip to the 8th most popular amusement park in the world?

Rank Group to receive £78m as HMRC finally pays back VAT duties from as far back as 2006

HMRC Rank Group VAT operator Tax
A queue is forming at the door of HMRC after it settled on a return of monies to the Rank Group to the tune of £78m following the long and drawn out battle over VAT on gaming machines. Fifteen years in the waiting, independent operators owed by the taxman need to make sure they join the line - even if it’s without the fast pass of the bigger players.

Blackpool’s piers bounce back from 2020 losses

Blackpool Pier Company bounce back
The staycation phenomenon has certainly made its mark in the UK’s number one seaside resort with the Blackpool Pier Company “able to recover from the losses incurred in 2020” amid record visitation to the South, Central and North piers this year

Off The Record: Bank Closures / Labour Crisis / Afghanistan / HMRC / Extinction Rebellion / Beefy appointment / Bank Holiday

Off the Record HMRC Bank Closures Afghanistan
Our shame in Afghanistan, the demise of bank branches, job candidates who don’t show-up for interviews, Ian Botham’s prospects as a trade envoy, what to expect next from HMRC and why Extinction Rebellion need to know their audience a bit better - all topics covered in this week’s Off The Record.

The 16 year war is over: HMRC decides to stand by Tribunal decision on gaming machine VAT

HMRC office VAT
Finally, some 1,000 businesses in the industry will receive their money back having handed over VAT on gaming machines when it wasn’t due between 2005-2013. After countless court cases HMRC once again stepped back from prolonging the dispute and decided against an appeal. Now, off the battleground and into the treaty negotiations: how long will it take to return the money?

Decision Day: Deadline for HMRC to appeal VAT tribunal judgement ends next week

HMRC VAT refund appeal deadline
Next week marks the end of the 56 day deadline for HMRC to appeal Judge Sinfield’s decision that VAT was not due on S16/21 and S31/34 machines between 2005 and 2013.

HMRC ‘carefully considering’ Tribunal decision on VAT refunds as days to appeal count down

HMRC VAT offices tribunal appeal
By Thursday, HMRC will be past the half-way point of the allocated time-frame of 56 days to appeal the First Tier Tribunal decision in the Rank versus HMRC case. Last week, though, the tax office updated Coinslot of its position regarding an appeal, stating: “We are carefully considering the FtT decisions before deciding on next steps.”

Industry reaction: The 20 year battle over VAT on machines – The casino perspective

Simon Thomas HMRC VAT decision reaction
Simon Thomas has watched this VAT battle unfold and unravel all the way through the past two decades and takes a pragmatic view on things now, we assume, the matter is resolved. It’s time to look forward, he says, but it’s also time to pay the money back and as quickly as possible.

Industry reaction The 20 year battle over VAT on machines – The amusements trade association

John White Bacta HMRC VAT tribunal reaction
Bacta CEO John White understands the sense of relief and simmering anger following last week’s First Tribunal’s decision backing the industry in the 20 year battle over VAT on machines.

Industry reaction The 20 year battle over VAT on machines – The Business Group

Peter Hannibal Gambling Business Group HMRC
Peter Hannibal of the Gambling Business Group knows a thing or two about the Rank versus HMRC case put before the First Tribunal last year.

Industry Reaction: The 20 year battle over VAT on machines – An operators view

Jason Frost has been keeping a close eye on the First Tribunal outcome, not just as an operator but also with an interest wearing his Euromat presidency hat. However, it’s the cost at small business level that concerns him most; the return of this money is needed now more than ever as the industry grapples with the post-Covid economic environment.

Comment: Blackpool deckchairs / Hospitals can cope / Let the new wars begin

Comment 2740 Deckchairs - HMRC refund
After 21 years of fighting, the war with HMRC is drawing to a close. So what lessons should we learn from it all?

White demands explanation from Treasury on VAT repayment delay

HMRC VAT refund delay Bacta pressure
Operators that incorrectly paid VAT on certain machines in a period up until 2005 deserve to be repaid, says Bacta CEO John White, who has written to the financial secretary to the Treasury emphasising the importance of cash resources to operators during an economic crisis and demanding an explanation for the delay and a timetable for repayment.

Machine gaming duty receipts cut in half by lockdowns and restrictions

Machine Gaming Duty MGD receipts down
As a result of many retail gaming venues being closed for much of the last 14 months, machine gaming duty receipts received by HMRC for 2020/21 are down by 45 percent on the previous financial year.

Bacta calls on Treasury to speed up process for VAT refunds

Bacta HMRC letter VAT refunds delay
It’s only taken 20-plus years to get VAT refunds on the go, and we’re still not there yet. Since the late 1990s, and through to 2013, businesses in the gaming machines sector were paying VAT on non-vatable products, and thanks to the courts, they have been due a refund on the first tranche of that overpayment - estimated at circa £500-750 million - for well over a year now.

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

Barry Slasberg HMRC VAT refund fight
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.

HMRC ‘bad faith’ keeping gaming “minnows” off VAT repayment radar, claims Slasberg

Barry Slasberg HMRC VAT refund fight
The forty year vet of the Working Men’s Club sector says that Her Majesty’s revenue service has made good on VAT repayments to big business, whilst letting smaller players go hand. Barry Slasberg is not interested in pulling punches; his battle - or war - with HMRC certainly brings out the rage.

Rank and HMRC back at the Tribunal over VAT monies

The Rank Group Gongman tax
Rank seem to have pulled their old gongman out of the archives and the former symbol of the gaming giant is banging that tam tam like crazy. With one victory of £42.5 million under its belt, the Group is back at the Tribunal this week for another return of VAT monies incorrectly taken by HMRC. And it could mean so much more for the broader industry - possibly £1 billion plus more?

Treasury statistics show true extent of damage to gambling economy

HMRC Gambling income statistics
According to government numbers, taxable gambling income has shrunk 8 per cent overall throughout the year with machine revenue cut almost clear in half nationwide and near eradicated entirely within landed bingo venues.

HMRC VAT Refund: Flutter latest to receive repayment with £14 million heading Paddy’s way

Betfair Chase Flutter HMRC VAT refund
HMRC continues its roll-out of VAT refunds following a tribunal decision against its claim on tax receipts dating back to the turn of the century. The latest in line for the return of monies is Irish gaming juggernaut Flutter.

KE Entertainments loses appeal for backdated VAT monies

UK Supreme Court KE Entertainments HMRC VAT overpayments
There was a disappointing outcome at the UK Supreme Court for bingo operator KE Entertainments whose appeal to overturn a decision by HMRC not to repay £435,630 in taxes for the period 1996-2004 was turned down.

External cash machines shouldn’t pay seperate rates, rules Supreme Court

ATM Cash Machine business rates
Operators that have previously paid separate business rates on their cash machines could be in for a rebate after supermarkets won an appeal in the Supreme Court last week, Grocers including Tesco and Sainsbury’s first won a ruling saying they were not liable for separate rates on cash machines at their supermarkets in 2018, but this decision was challenged by valuations officers working for HMRC.

HMRC outlines procedures for repayment of VAT monies

HMRC repayment of VAT monies
HMRC has issued its guidance notes to businesses in the gaming, gambling and leisure industries looking to reclaim VAT following the Upper Tribunal’s decision to find in favour of Rank and Done Bros last month. Coinslot includes an extract of the Revenue and Customs Brief which was published on the website on 26 May.

Will Hill eyes £150m FOBT rebate, GVC pushes for £200m

William Hill FOBT VAT rebate
They’re queueing up at the doors of HMRC for that VAT rebate due following the Upper Tribunal’s decision to find in favour of operators over the taxman in..

HMRC expected to drop appeal against decision to return £1bn+ in unfairly taken taxes

HMRC vat not going to appeal
Revenue & Customs are currently finalising their next Business Brief in which they are expected to confirm that they will not be appealing against the Upper Tribunal’s decision in favour of Rank and Done Bros.

RGD increase boosts 2019 tax revenues

RGD increases boost Tax revenues
A substantial decline in Machine Game Duty paid to HMRC last tax year was offset by a surge in Remote Game Duty - with tax on digital provides up by more than a third.

Slasberg sets Harris’ record straight

Barry Slasberg HMRC VAT Carolyn Harris
A choicely-worded letter by Northamptonshire working men’s club veteran Barry Slasberg to APPG head Carolyn Harris has called time on her denouncement on a VAT decision which could prove a lifeline to an industry in distress.

Barry Slasberg: Letter to the editor

HMRC Kingsley Park WMC Barry Slasberg
I am delighted to inform you that HMRC have committed themselves to repaying the VAT and interest dishonestly extracted from my club (Kingsley Park WMC, Northampton) and thousands of other like businesses in 2014

Harris undermines her credibility with ill-advised comments on VAT appeal ruling

Carolyn Harris
With small gambling businesses on the brink of bankruptcy throughout the country, mean-spirited APPG head Carolyn Harris MP has bemoaned a court ruling which could see them reclaim more than a billion pounds in VAT - monies that should never have been taken in the first place. Is this latest example of an ill-informed Harris..