Involves GBP 54 million
HM Revenue and Customs has won a tax avoidance case in a British court against Ladbrokes involving GBP 54 million.
The First-tier Tribunal ruling means Ladbrokes cannot reclaim GBP 54 million in tax," HMRC said. "Another three similar cases are worth GBP 112 million of tax."
According to HMRC, the tax avoidance scheme, which was promoted by accountancy firm Deloitte in 2008, exploited a loophole that was closed in the same year. The relevant legislation was strengthened in 2009.
The scheme involved two Ladbrokes Group companies, Ladbrokes International and Travel Document. An "artificially manufactured" fall in the share value of one company created a loss in the other company for tax purposes, however the group suffered no real economic loss.
"Avoidance just doesn't pay — we win around 80 percent of cases taxpayers choose to litigate and many more concede before litigation," HMRC's Director General of Business Tax, Jim Harra, said. "We will uncover the avoidance schemes and contrived structures designed to minimise tax and we will challenge them."
Ladbrokes said it will study the ruling and consider its options on appealing the judgement.
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