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Irish Gov't Decides Against Betting Tax Hike

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

28 December 2017


Ireland's Finance Department decided against proposals to double the tax on betting after warnings from industry representatives, according to reports.

Ireland's betting duty was examined as part of the 2017 Tax Strategy Group process. A consultation closed in June. Budget 2018 was presented in October, and contained no amendments to the betting duty rate.

The Irish Independent reported that the Finance Department had been presented with 13 submissions, eight of which were from the betting/gaming industry, two from the horse racing industry, one from an addiction advocacy service, and two from individuals.

The paper said that the Departmental submission outlined three options for reform: an increase in the betting duty from one percent to two percent; a tax on the punter; and a gross profits tax.

The submission reportedly warned that the second option could prompt punters to seek out "alternative untaxed forms of betting or a move towards unlicensed operators." The third option would require "significant additional work" before it could be introduced, although a move to a gross profits tax was thought to be "of advantage to business as the level of tax payable will change in response to margins."

The submission stated that there was "ongoing pressure" to increase the betting duty rate. However, the Irish Independent reported that the Department had received submissions from industry representatives warning that hiking the tax could be "potentially damaging," and could lead to job losses and the closure of businesses. The risk for individual or smaller operators would be "particularly stark."

The Irish Independent said that in his response to the Departmental submission, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe noted that he had "decided not to change this rate" in Budget 2018. Donohoe will reconsider the rate next year.

TAGS: individuals | tax | business | Ireland | gambling tax | ministry of finance | gambling | tax rates | tax reform

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