TechnologyBetfair threatens offshore tax move

Betfair threatens offshore tax move

Betting exchange could move operations offshore if 'punitive' tax laws are enforced by the Treasury

One of Britain’s leading online betting exchanges, Betfair, is considering relocating its operations from the UK to Malta in anticipation of new tax laws being introduced on its revenues.

Link: Mid-tier gamble may pay out

The Treasury is close to completing a review of the tax treatment of exchanges and their clients. Betfair currently pays about 15% of its gross revenue from commissions to the Treasury but, according to the Guardian, is fearful of a more punitive tax regime, and an offshore location would considerably cut costs.

The company has received a licence to operate in Malta. The move would be relatively simple, as Malta is a member of the EU and there would be no need to restrict its advertising and sponsorship in the UK.

It would also be easy to move and host its computer servers offshore while maintaining a head office in the UK.

In March 2004, chancellor Gordon Brown ordered a review of the tax treatment of betting exchanges and their clients, and this review is now thought to be close to completion.

Traditional bookmakers view as unfair the current system by which exchanges’ duty obligations are assessed. They have also said that many betting exchange clients use sites such as Betfair to operate as bookmakers, but without paying the taxes that are normally due.

However, in their defence, betting exchanges say that they are themselves the primary bookmaker, in that they ultimately accept bets placed by the public and ensure that the winners are paid out.

Related Articles

A brief guide to Making Tax Digital

MTD A brief guide to Making Tax Digital

1w Clear Books | Sponsored
Four reasons why tech investment is critical for accountants

Technology Four reasons why tech investment is critical for accountants

1m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Artificial intelligence and machine learning – the inevitable changes in professional service firms

Technology Artificial intelligence and machine learning – the inevitable changes in professional service firms

1m Andrew Griggs
Why European data rules will still mean business despite Brexit

Technology Why European data rules will still mean business despite Brexit

2m Helen Barge
5 tips for SMEs to protect cash flow

Accounting Software 5 tips for SMEs to protect cash flow

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
What to expect from GDPR

Legal What to expect from GDPR

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Making Tax Digital – still full steam ahead?

Making Tax Digital Making Tax Digital – still full steam ahead?

2m Margaret Curran
Sage purchases Intacct in its largest ever acquisition

Accounting Software Sage purchases Intacct in its largest ever acquisition

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter