HMRC internal manual

Business Income Manual

Meaning of trade: exceptions and alternatives: betting and gambling - spread betting

The principles of Down v Compston [1937] 21TC60 and Burdge v Pyne [1968] 45TC320 (see BIM22019) apply equally to spread betting. To be taxable, the spread betting wins must come not merely from an opportunity presented by a trade, they must arise from the carrying on of that trade. Whether or not a particular spread bet is taxable will depend on the terms of the contract and the economic substance of what is done.

For more on financial spread bets entered into by companies, see CFM50380.