Rank demands £26m in overdue VAT payments from the tax authorities

GAMING and bingo group Rank demanded £25.9m in overdue VAT payments from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) yesterday after a tribunal ruled again in its favour.

The tribunal concluded that the group had been overcharged over their gaming machines between 2003 and 2005.

Rank has now called for HMRC to repay the money within the first quarter of next year. “The decision follows an interim ruling from the Tribunal in August 2008 that the UK’s VAT treatment of amusement machines contravened the European Union’s principle of fiscal neutrality.

This latest ruling confirms, amongst other things, that the ruling is valid for the full three years of Rank's claim period,” the statement said. HMRC is set to take Rank to the Court of Appeal in April 2010 in a hope to overturn the tribunal’s gaming machine decision and another judgement over £59.1m of VAT paid on bingo that went in Rank’s favour.

Rank submitted a new claim for £16m of overpaid VAT on its main stage bingo business from 2004.