Paddy Power Betfair to challenge tax claims totaling €55m
Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) has announced that it is to appeal against two rulings imposing a combined €55m tax charge from Greek and German authorities.
A court based in Hesse has ordered the operator to pay almost €40m in taxes related to Betfair’s exchange betting platform that operated in Germany up until 2012. Specifically, the claim covers the five months from July to November 2012.
Paddy Power Betfair is contesting liability in this area. Paddy Power and Betfair merged in 2016, but Betfair was also given legal advice in 2012 that believed the exchange would not be liable to a 5% turonover tax that was soon to be introduced. Without clarity on the issue, Betfair withdrew the brand from Germany in November.
On that issue, a statement from the operator read:
Discussions are continuing with tax authorities regarding the potential tax liability, if any, arising from bets placed on its exchange since the law came into effect.–Statement, Paddy Power Betfair
The operator also has a tax claim from Greece to deal with. Authorities there have said that PPB is to pay €15m, as well as penalty charges and interest, for revenue earned on interim licences between 2012-14.
PPB is set to appeal the decision. In a statement, the operator said:
The group strongly disputes the basis of these assessments, and in line with the legal and tax advice we have received, is confident in our grounds to appeal. We therefore intend to do so.–Statement, Paddy Power Betfair
However, the bookmaker also announced that it has paid the Greek bill, and will appeal in expectation of recovering the funds, which it is confident of. The bookmaker said that the figure from Greek authorities is multiple times larger than revenues and earnings during the given time-frame, and therefore cannot be accurate.
Regarding the bill in Germany, the operator said that it is awaiting “clarity with respect to the timing of any cash payment in Germany”.
You can read the full press release on PPB’s website.