All holders of a current and valid bookmaker's operating licence at any time during the relevant levy period are also required, by law, to complete and return a Form of Declaration and, where appropriate, pay the statutory levy. This requirement arises even if the holders of the bookmaker's operating licence do not trade. All bookmakers who do trade will have their levy liability calculated in accordance with the relevant Levy Scheme.
Forms are to be completed at the end of each levy year, where an operating licence is active for any part of that year. If a bookmaker's assessed levy liability is greater than £500, the bookmaker is required to make on account payments in advance during the year in respect of their annual levy liability. For those bookmakers with a levy liability of £500 or less, full payment is required by 30 September.
Payments in advance of the levy liability are payable by all Category 1, 2, 3, and Category 4 bookmakers, based on their trading during the Levy Scheme two years ago. For new bookmakers, the advance payments will be calculated by reference to HBLB's estimate of the gross profit derived from the first year's British Horserace Betting Business.
In March a Form of Declaration is dispatched to all bookmakers. The bookmaker is required to complete the Form of Declaration stating the gross profits generated from betting on British horseracing for the Levy period in question. The Levy year runs from 1 April to 31 March.
With the exception of bookmakers who only stand on racecourses and/or point-to-point and/or harness-racing and/or trotting events (termed Category 2 bookmakers), all bookmakers are required to have their Form of Declaration certified by an Independent Accountant who is eligible under the provisions of the Companies Act 2006 for appointment as a company auditor. All Forms of Declaration must be fully completed and returned withn 28 days of the end of the Levy Scheme.
The levy payable is based on the actual gross profit arising from bets taken on British horseracing and is calculated by reference to the horseracing gross profit of the individual betting shops. When calculating the levy liability a gross loss is treated as a gross profit of £0.
The Form of Declaration must be completed even if the holder of the bookmaker's operating licence has not carried on a Horserace Betting Business in the relevant levy period. Failure to return a completed Form of Declaration will result in HBLB raising an estimated assessment the levy due from a bookmaker. The estimated assessment, which is likely to be higher than the actual horseracing gross profit made by any bookmaker, remains the bookmaker's legal levy liability unless and until a correct Form of Declaration is completed and returned to HBLB.
The Levy Collection Department is pleased to assist all bookmakers with enquiries and can be contacted on 020 7333 0043.