Formula One racing team McLaren has lost its legal appeal to claim a £32m fine as tax deductible.
The penalty, imposed by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, dates back to 2007, when the team was caught trying to spy on rival Ferrari, according to an investigation.
A previous legal case had ruled in 2012 that the penalty was connected to McLaren’s operations and therefore tax deductible, but this was overturned by the new Upper Tribunal ruling yesterday.
HM Revenue and Customs director general Jim Harra said: “We’re very pleased the Upper Tribunal agrees that the fine should not be given tax relief, which supports our view that most fines are not allowable as deductions against trading income.
“This case shows that we won’t hesitate to go to court to make sure the right tax is paid.”
Formula One Racing is owned by CVC Capital Partners as well as Bernie Ecclestone.