Spot the VAT Ball!

They think its all over, it is now!
VAT (and Tax in general) can be a complicated and hard to understand.
The FT reported earlier this month..

A long-running battle between the UK taxman and betting minnow Sportech over VAT paid on a game called Spot the Ball between 1976 and 1996 looks as though it may, finally, be nearing an end game.

Spot the Ball, which was popular in the seventies, shows a scene from a football match and players are invited to mark where they think the ball should be.

Back in 2009, Sportech lodged a claim that it should not have been charged VAT on the game as Spot the Ball – in its view – was a game of chance and not a game of skill and therefore not subject to VAT.

The Court of Appeal has restored the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) that the ‘spot the ball’ competition was a game of chance. The Court of Appeal agreed with the FTT.
As a result of the decision, the cost of entering the game should have been exempt from VAT under VATA 1994 Sch. 9 group 4. The repayment claim arising in this case is reputed to be around £97m.