Still no joy for Ladbrokes in £71m tax feud

Ladbrokes and Coral bookmakersLadbrokes Coral claims to have made a £71 million (US $100 million) tax overpayment in 2015, but authorities in the UK disagree.

Although the bookmaker has fallen short in its attempts to recover the claimed excess, further litigation is not out of the question.

A 2008 tax loophole made it possible for corporations to write off tax for loan deals made with third parties. The government lost millions in potential revenue as a result.

When those laws were rewritten, the government sought to claim back taxes from all corporations that had taken advantage of the loophole.
Ladbrokes Coral was one of several businesses in this bracket.

Following the settlement, Ladbrokes claimed it had made the same payment twice and filed a petition to the Upper Tribunal of the Tax and Chancery Chamber (UTTCC). The UTTCC rejected the claim, as did the UK Court of Appeals.

Then Ladbrokes turned around and said it should not have paid any back taxes because they never took advantage of the 2008 loophole.

“We note the court ruling,” the bookmaker said in a statement.

“This was a case regarding taxes already paid and accounted for, so while the case may have been given against us, it has no bearing on our numbers.”

Ladbrokes took an estimated $2.1 billion in revenue in 2017, with over $171 million in operating income.