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The Advocate General representing HMRC v K E Entertainments Ltd (Scotland)

In The Advocate General representing HMRC v K E Entertainments Ltd (Scotland) [2020] UKSC 28 (24 June) the Supreme Court held that the taxpayer’s claim for a refund of overpaid VAT was time barred under VATA 1994 s 80. 

The taxpayer operated bingo clubs. The payment of a fee entitled the customer to take part in a number of games of bingo forming a ‘session’. 

The taxable amount for VAT purposes in the case of bingo is the total fee paid by the participant minus the ‘stake’ i.e. the proportion of the fee which is paid out in the form of prizes. Thus VAT is therefore only chargeable on the remainder the ‘participation fee’. 

Until 2007 the guidance provided by HMRC was that VAT should be charged on the participation fees on a game by game basis. In 2007 HMRC published a business brief...

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