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The ‘Spotting the Ball’ Partnership v HMRC (and related appeals)

In The ‘Spotting the Ball’ Partnership v HMRC (and related appeals) (TC02624 – 9 April) a partnership and several companies which had accounted for VAT on takings from ‘spot the ball’ competitions submitted repayment claims contending that they should have treated the takings as exempt. HMRC rejected the claims but the FTT allowed the appeals in principle holding that ‘spot the ball’ was a game of chance within VATA 1994 Sch 9 Group 4 Note 2(c).

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Why it matters: There is a great deal of money at stake in this case. VATA 1994 Sch 9 Group 4 provides that the provision of facilities ‘for the playing of any games of chance’ is exempt from VAT. At first sight one might assume that ‘spot the ball’ contains a sufficient element of skill to prevent it from qualifying for exemption. However ...

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