Monday May 14, 2012 : SPANISH INTERNET GAMBLING TAX SHOCK
Last minute notification could mean seriously big tax payments
Just weeks before the first Spanish online gambling licenses are due to be issued, the Spanish authorities have sprung an unpleasant and possibly game-changing surprise on potential licensees, demanding that applicants pay backdated tax for the last four years.
The usually well-informed poker information site Pokerfuse reports that some of the largest operators in Spain could face massive financial demands as a consequence, naming Bwin.Party ( get the best bonus for Bwin party at http://www.bonus-codes-party-poker.com )(Euro 60 million), Sportingbet/Miapuesta (Euro 50 million) and PokerStars as much as Euro 200 million.
Sources have told the poker information site that whilst Pokerstars is considering paying up, other operators could find the demands too heavy and withdraw their applications for licenses.
Pokerfuse recalls that the country's Gaming Act passed last year required operators to have licenses from January this year, but that missed deadlines have resulted in delays on the regulator's side.
Companies were allowed to continue operating until the licenses were made available, on the understanding that once licensed, they would face tax bills dating from July 2011, when the legalization came into effect.
The new four year tax requirement now being imposed by the political changes of a new Spanish government will obviously impact the financial and business calculations and plans of licensees.
Apparently the government has tasked the Bureau of Fraud Investigation with enquiring into and assessing which companies are liable to play the tax, which is retroactive back to 2008 when there was no Spanish law applicable to the industry.