GOOD NEWS FOR DUTCH ONLINE GAMBLERS
Amsterdam Court of Appeal says players are not liable for tax on winnings at PokerStars.
Dutch online punters will be pleased by the news that the Amsterdam Court of Appeal has ruled that Dutch players are not liable to pay any taxes on their winnings on PokerStars.eu.
The publication Poker News reports that the case was taken to the courts by PokerStars player Freerk Post and his legal firm Taxwise advocaten & belastingadviseurs, challenging the national tax authority and arguing that since Malta is part of the European Union (EU), no taxes should be levied on earnings from the online poker room past the date it registered in Malta.
PokerStars reportedly also provided support to the legal team in the case.
The tax authority's contention was that since PokerStars.eu was located in the Isle of Man, which is outside the EU, players should be subject to taxes.
However, Taxwise advocaten & belastingadviseurs attorney Jurjen van Daal warned that the decision may not yet be the end of the matter, noting that the Dutch taxman has an extendable six weeks to appeal the decision to the Dutch Supreme Court.
"The Tax Administration may establish within six weeks an appeal in cassation to the Supreme Court," van Daal told Poker News. "The Supreme Court is the only body that there is still a rule on. The Supreme Court will not reassess the facts. The Supreme Court will only see if the law is applied correctly. The question of where a company is located, is a very real test."
Such an appeal could bog the issue down for up to two years, the lawyer cautioned.
"The term of an appeal can last for one to two years," van Dalen said. "An appeal would be annoying because of the uncertainty for players during the time declarations and objections will be continued to be made. The Supreme Court decides how and when to deal with a case. I could imagine that the Supreme Court thinks it would be good to rule very quickly, just as the Amsterdam Court of Appeal has done. With a quick verdict, they avoid the performance of procedures from other poker players and prevent other courts and tribunals to become overloaded. Everyone needs certainty. Maybe the appeal could go a bit faster than average, but you're still looking at least another year."