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Betsson To Pay Disputed Back Taxes To Germany

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

08 February 2016

Betsson is to pay SEK113m (USD13.4m) in past gambling tax to the German Government in the hope of securing a license in a future regulated German gaming market.

Betsson, a gaming firm listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange and operating in Malta, divulged in a statement published on February 3 that it is opting to pay the tax, although it believes it has not incurred that liability, in order to avoid "negative repercussions" when applying for a licence in the future.

The company intends to submit an income tax return for gaming tax in Germany for the period July 1, 2012, to December 31, 2015.

However, at the same time the company stressed that "it is not subject to a tax liability" because Germany is not entitled to tax companies domiciled in another European Union member state if they do not have any operations in Germany.

Since July 1, 2012, sports betting and lottery winnings in Germany have been subject to a withholding tax of 5 percent.

"Betsson still believes it is not subject to a tax liability, but it is choosing to declare in order to prevent being differentiated from other companies which have applied or will apply for a licence," the statement explained. Nevertheless, Betsson said it intends to challenge the tax liability.

The German authorities have yet to issue licenses to allow foreign companies to operate in the German gaming market. However, Bettson is of the view that about 20 gaming licenses will be issued soon, and that the German market for internet gaming "may become one of the largest in Europe."

TAGS: tax | Malta | internet | gambling | withholding tax | Germany | Sweden | Europe

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