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January 2007

Gaming Machines and V.A.T. Update

With the December issue of the Conservative Clubs' Magazine, Club Secretaries would have found an additional four page insert providing information on submitting an appeal on VAT claims which had been rejected by HM Revenue & Customs. In addition to information on making an appeal, the insert provided details to assist Club Officers to complete a Notice of Appeal Form Trib 1.

It should be noted that, if your Club has made a claim but has not yet received a letter from HMRC stating that the claim has been rejected, then the information contained within last month's insert should not be used at this stage. Many Clubs are still in the process of receiving letters from HMRC requesting further information and asking questions, the answers to which have already been provided in the October 2006 Magazine.

Clubs which have not yet had their claim rejected should continue to correspond with HMRC until a letter rejecting their claim has been received.

Once a claim has been rejected, then it is usual to be given a maximum of 30 days from the date of the letter from HMRC rejecting the claim, to submit an Appeal to the VAT & Duties Tribunal (VDT). This appeal must not be sent to the HMRC Officer who sent the letter of rejection.

Last month's insert sets out how to obtain a Trib 1 Form and also provides guidance on how to complete the Form. It is important to note that any appeal must be submitted to the VDT using an official form. It is not acceptable to simply retype the model form which has been reproduced within the insert. Clubs may access the model form from our website www.toryclubs.co.uk.

The grounds of the appeal are set out within the Model Form together with a request for the appeal to be stood over pending the outcome of a lead case which is being taken by "The Rank Group PLC". We suggest that a covering letter is sent with the Trib 1 Form making it clear that the appeal is made on the basis of it being an "Application for Stand Over".

The ACC recommends that all appeals should be sent to the appropriate VDT Offfice by recorded delivery and also suggests that copies are retained by the Club. Details of your Club's particular VDT Office will be found on the website financeandtaxtribunals.gov.uk.

Once the Appeal has been lodged, there is no further action to take until the outcome of the test case has been determined. This is likely to involve numerous court hearings and may take several years to complete.

May I take this opportunity to congratulate all those Club Officers who have spent a considerable amount of time and effort in calculating the
amount of VAT which may be reclaimed.

From the first article which appeared on this subject in the August 2006 edition of the Magazine, I made it clear that this particular VAT claim was only a possibility. However, for there to be any chance of success, Clubs needed to submit claims. In short, no claim, no refund. I understand that there have been in excess of 15,000 applications for a refund which have been lodged with HMRC. The estimated total claim is in the region of £250 million. It is no surprise, therefore, that there is some resistance to accepting these claims.

Further details and updates will feature in the Magazine.