EU: Working paper on online gambling EU VAT issues published

Richard Woolich – Tax Partner, Gambling Group

The EU VAT Committee has published the working paper in connection with their March discussions on the complex EU VAT issues concerning on-line gambling.  It has no force of law.  Two points worth picking up in particular:

  1. There is a fairly thorough analysis of taxable amount, with the conclusion, based on case law (and indeed  in line with the recent Irish guidance) that winnings paid back can be excluded from the taxable amount where there is a legal or statutory obligation to pay out a certain percentage of takings as  winnings, and that amount is known by all parties before the service is supplied.  The paper also deals with bonuses (generally expecting them also to be excluded from taxable amounts) and how to calculate the right amount of VAT to pay in each Member State.
  2. There is a statement that Member States can apply different conditions and limitations to the application of the EU VAT betting exemption, subject to the principle of the fiscal neutrality.  There is a call for individual Member States to provide clarity on the treatment in their jurisdiction in the hope that more certainty will avoid litigation.

Any queries, please contact Richard.woolich@dlapiper.com