Ladbrokes Coral To Take Tax Dispute To UK Court Of Appeals

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Oct 20, 2017

GBP 70 million at stake in dispute with HMRC

Online and land gambling group Ladbrokes Coral is planning to take on appeal its 2008 tax dispute with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to the UK Court of Appeal, with GBP 70 million riding on the result, according to reports in the British business media.

The case involves allegations that that the company deliberately exploited a 2008 tax loophole relating to loans between corporations and third parties as it sought to reduce its tax liability (see previous InfoPowa reports).

Advised by the Deloittes professional business services group, Ladbrokes allegedly formed a “transacting subsidiary” in order to move corporate tax liabilities to a single business that generated losses, thus ameliorating the tax hit.

HMRC claimed that over the 2008 tax period Ladbrokes suffered no de facto losses but was able to benefit from the “transacting subsidiary” strategy. Ladbrokes was not alone in following Deloittes’ advice…nine other corporates were caught in the same net and paid up when challenged by HMRC.

Thus far the company has not been successful in its three-year fight through the UK tax courts, and the Court of Appeals could be its last opportunity to have the earlier rulings against it set aside.

The appeal will probably be heard early in 2018.

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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