Revenue & Customs Brief 5 (2020): VAT treatment on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) and gaming machines, explains HMRC’s position following the joint decision of the Upper Tribunal on 15 April 2020 of The Rank Group Ltd UT/2018/0149 and Done Brothers (Cash Betting) Ltd (and others) UT/2018/0150.
The Upper Tribunal dismissed HMRC's appeal and decided that:
- The different VAT treatment of the machines or games was a breach of the VAT legal principle of ‘fiscal neutrality’.
- The machines or games which were found to be similar in the eyes of the typical consumer were treated differently for the purposes of VAT.
- The machines or games should not have had a different VAT treatment to other similar types of machine or games.
HMRC's brief clarifies how businesses with appeals related to this decision can reclaim overpaid VAT.
This brief does not apply to appeals that were originally stood behind the Colaingrove Ltd case and to the operation of non-FOBTs from 6 December 2005 to 31 January 2013. That VAT treatment has yet to be decided.