Tax man and Lawn Tennis Association in million-pound dispute
The body that runs one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world could have to pay back millions of pounds in taxes and legal costs.
Just months after Andy Murray's historic win as Wimbledon champion, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is in dispute with the tax man over the sale of shares more than ten years ago that could have fallen foul of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) laws.
The company that owns the Championship grounds is also embroiled in the dispute - just months after millions of people around the world tuned in to watch Andy Murray's nail-biting win in the mens final against Novak Djokovic.
In the LTA's Finance and Governance Report for 2013, it states that the LTA and the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) are in dispute with HMRC 'regarding the tax treatment of the disposal in 2003 of certain shares by AELTC.'
Although HMRC, the government department responsible for collecting taxes and VAT, is refusing to confirm or deny that an investigation is going on, the Wimbledon Guardian has learnt that if the LTA loses the case, it would have to pay £1million plus interest and associated legal costs.
The report, released in December, states that both companies believe that the 'gain and tax have been correctly accounted for and therefore no provision for this amount has been recognised.'
It goes on to state that the AELTC maintain that the club was acting as undisclosed agent of The Championships in holding the shares and that both the gain and associated tax liability should pass to the LTA as part of the Championship surplus.
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, also known as the All England Club, is based at Church Road, Wimbledon.
The private members' club owns the grounds that hosts the Wimbledon tennis championships every year.
When contacted by the Wimbledon Guardian, a spokesperson at the LTA declined to comment.
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