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Spot the VAT

24 May 2016
Issue: 4551 / Categories: Tax cases

IFX Investment Company Ltd and others v CRCCourt of Appeal, 4 May 2016

Definition of a game for the purpose of the VAT exemption

The taxpayers ran spot the ball competitions. A dispute arose over the VAT treatment. The First-tier Tribunal decided that the competitions fell under the gaming exemption in VATA 1994 Sch 9 gr 4 on the basis that they were games of chance within the Gaming Act 1968. The Upper Tribunal overturned that decision on the ground that completing and posting a coupon did not constitute playing. An element of inter-player participation was required for something to be a game.

The taxpayers appealed. They said there was no requirement to have a degree of inter-player participation. The Revenue filed a respondent’s notice stating that even if it was held that spot the ball competitions were games they were not games of chance.

Lady Justice Arden in the Court of Appeal said there was no rule about inter-player...

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