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VAT exemption also applicable to unlicensed operators in Poland

By Paweł Satkiewicz, Senior Associate, DLA Piper, Warsaw

On 28 June 2016, the Polish Supreme Administrative Court (“NSA”) issued an important judgment (I FSK 180/15) regarding an exemption from the tax on goods and services (“VAT”) pursuant to Article 43 paragraph 1 point 15 of the Polish VAT Act. This exemption applies to activities related to games of chance, betting, and gaming machine games, which are subject to gaming tax on the terms specified in a separate act.

According to the NSA, there are no grounds for excluding from this VAT exemption gaming machine games organised outside casinos without a relevant license or permit. In this regard, the NSA referred to the reasoning of the C-283/95 Karlheinz Fischer judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union  and based its argumentation on the VAT neutrality principle. According to the NSA, both games of chance in casinos and games of chance illegally organized outside casinos should be treated in the same way (i.e. should be exempt from VAT). It must be underlined that one of judges expressed a dissenting opinion to the judgment.

We will be able to present you with more detailed information about the judgment once the written justification is published.