The UK tax authority Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has refused to concede defeat in its bid to avoid paying Sportech £97m in a long-running VAT repayment case, applying to the UK Supreme Court for leave to appeal the recent Court of Appeal judgement.

Last month the Court of Appeal refused HMRC permission to appeal to the Supreme Court against its unanimous decision in favour of Sportech. The Court ruled that Sportech had overpaid value-added tax (VAT) on a Spot the Ball game between 1979 and 1996, awarding the operator £97m.

The company said this morning however that it has been informed that HMRC has now applied directly to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal the judgment.

Sportech will file its Notice of Objection to this application by Monday June 13th. It has been advised that it will hear whether HMRC has been granted the right to appeal to the Supreme Court by autumn.

The operator will provide shareholders with any further updates in due course.

The case has been running for a number of years, with Sportech first awarded £93m by the UK’s First Tier Tax Tribunal in March 2013. HMRC had this award overturned by the Upper Tribunal of the Tax and Chancery Chamber, with the case progressing to the Court of Appeal.

This court found in favour of Sportech, with HMRC given the opportunity to appeal, only for the tax agency’s request to be rejected.

However HMRC was allowed to apply directly to the Supreme Court for permission to appeal, and was given until June 17th to lodge its request.

Shares in Sportech plc (Co.Data) (LSE:SPO) were trading down 4.65 per cent at 70.56 pence per share in London earlier this morning.


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