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Rank Requests £25.9 million Payment from HMRC

15th December 2009 9:01 am GMT

Rank Group said Tuesday that it will request payment from Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) of £25.9 million relating to overpaid VAT on certain types of amusements machines in its Mecca Bingo clubs and Grosvenor Casinos between 2002 and 2005.

Rank said that it noted a decision from the VAT and Duties Tribunal regarding its claim for VAT overpaid, and as a consequence the company expects to receive payment of £25.9 million during the first quarter of 2010.

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, which states that supplies of services that are the same or similar should not be treated differently for VAT purposes, as confirmed in the European Court of Justice case Finanzamt v Linneweber (2005).

The latest ruling confirms, amongst other things, that the ruling is valid for the full three years of Rank's claim period. Rank's claim relates to VAT paid on revenue from Section 31 and Section 34 gaming machines in its Mecca Bingo clubs and Grosvenor Casinos.

The amusement machines rulings have been appealed by HMRC and the Court of Appeal is scheduled to hear the appeal in April 2010, alongside HMRC's appeal against Rank's £59.1 million claim for overpaid VAT on games of interval bingo.

Shares in Rank Group plc (Co. Profile) (LSE:RNK) have gained 2.50% to 80.05 pence per share in London this morning following the announcement.

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