Rank pockets tax jackpot of £154m

Rank, the parent company of Mecca Bingo, celebrated a £154m win from the taxman yesterday after receiving a VAT rebate. Rank was repaid £74.8m in tax dating back to between 1973 and 1996 by HM Revenue and Customs after a long legal dispute. It is due to receive a further £79.5m in interest later this month.

Rank, whose shares rose 14 per cent to 147p, had expected about £65m, plus interest, under the deal. The gaming group has already received £112m from HMRC relating to separate claims. HMRC is appealing against the decisions at the European Court of Justice.

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