HMRC seeks industry consultation on Freeplay taxation

HMRCFollowing last March’s UK Budget 2016 announcement, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has released an industry consultation paper detailing its proposals to levy remote gaming duties on freeplays (free bets), in order to align Remote Gaming Duty (RGD) policy with that of free bets in General Betting Duty (GBD).

Publishing its consultation paper titled; ‘Tax Treatment of Freeplays in Remote Gaming Duty, HMRC stated that it wanted to bring further clarity regarding the upcoming taxation of free bets offered by industry remote betting stakeholders.

The HMRC consultation document explains how the law will be changed to align the duties, while seeking to gather information about how this change should be made, and whether the draft legislation will deliver the intended change.

The tax authority stated that it wanted to give the betting industry an opportunity to present its concerns regarding the legislation which has been attached directly to the 2017 UK Finance Bill, pending review.

HMRC will look to further amend the definition of gaming payments and prizes, and change the tax treatment of freeplays used by remote gaming operators. The authority wants to ensure further that online betting consumers using freeplays will be able to calculate the operator’s dutiable profit, however ‘freeplays given as prizes will not reduce that profit.’

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